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Tuesday, April 28, 2009

NCAA Division I Bracket Talk

Obviously the big controversy from today's NCAA Division I tennis selections is that both No. 2 Ole Miss and No. 6 Baylor were not chosen to host Regional competition, which is traditionally played at the Top 16 seeds' home courts. To a lesser extent, Fresno State, the No. 16 seeded women's team, was also spurned, while Illinois, a 33-48 seed, was given a Regional.

The ESPNews selection show, which featured phone-in analysis from Mal Washington, made reference to "geographic distribution," but I can't find any reference to that on the NCAA site. I'm hoping to talk to someone who understands this process better than I do, but I am frankly stunned by what's been allowed to happen in the men's regional locations. Does anyone with a longer history of college tennis than I possess remember this happening before?

I'll be going through the draws for other items of interest, but please post your NCAA draw comments below.

Here's the reaction of Baylor head coach Matt Knoll, and here's what Ole Miss head coach Billy Chadwick and freshman Devin Britton have to say about it.

Fresno State's reaction to their upcoming trip to Illinois is here.

The men's bracket is here; the women's bracket is here.


scott said...

The geographic distribution makes no sense. You've got 2 teams from New York flying to Florida. Huh? Rice, Alcorn State and LSU can't go to Oxford, Mississippi? TCU, Tulsa and UMKC can't go to Baylor? Unless Ole Miss and Baylor didn't put in to host(and I highly doubt that is the case), it makes zero sense. Look across the bracket. Quite a few host sites have multiple teams that have to fly in. New Mexico and Minnesota to USC, Washington and Sacred Heart to Texas, Southern Illinois, Oklahoma State and Hawaii to UCLA.

Are you telling me it is cheaper to fly in SIU, OSU and Hawaii, to UCLA, than it is to bus get Rice, LSU and Alcorn State to Ole Miss? I know Oxford isn't the easiest place to get to, but what happened to right and fair? You play all season, you dominate the SEC and Big 12, as Ole Miss and Baylor did, and you get shafted, while other teams from your own conference are seeded lower, yet staying home.

TechGirl said...

The really sad thing is that when you deny the #2 ranked team in the country you automatically put yourself in line for accusations of favouritism and kick-backs.

If the ITA were genuine then one or more of Stanford, UCLA or USC would have suffered. They didn't and they never will. Funny how politics never affects them

Brent said...

Bracket predictions...

Round of 64
1 Virginia over Navy
33 UNC over 17 South Carolina
16 Florida St. over Jacksonville St
17 Auburn over 33 South Florida
8 USC over Santa Barbara
17 Minnesota over 33 New Mexico
9 Stanford over Sacramento St.
17 Pepperdine over 33 California
4 Georgia over S. Carolina St.
17 Virginia Tech over 33 UNC Wilm
13 Illinois over Western Michigan
33 Wisconsin over 17 Louisville
5 Tennessee over E. Tenn. St.
17 Duke over 33 Radford
12 Texas over Sacred Heart
17 Washington over 33 Texas Tech
17 Wake Forest over 33 Northwestern
11 Kentucky over Cleveland St.
17 Tulsa over 33 TCU
6 Baylor over UMKC
17 Boise St. over 33 Midd Tenn St.
14 Alabama over Furman
33 Michigan over 17 Notre Dame
3 Ohio St. over Xavier
17 Miami over Columbia
10 Florida over Marist
33 Hawaii over 17 Oklahoma St.
7 UCLA over Southern Ill.
17 Arizona over 33 Tex-Corp Christi
15 Texas A&M over Binghamton
17 LSU over 33 Rice
2 Ole Miss over Alcorn St.

Round of 32
1 Virginia over 33 UNC
16 Florida St. over 17 Auburn
8 USC over 17 Minnesota
9 Stanford over 17 Pepperdine
4 Georgia over 17 Virginia Tech
13 Illinois over 33 Wisconsin
5 Tennessee over 17 Duke
12 Texas over 17 Washington
11 Kentucky over 17 Wake Forest
6 Baylor over 17 Tulsa
14 Alabama over 17 Boise St.
3 Ohio St. over 33 Michigan
10 Florida over 17 Miami
7 UCLA over 33 Hawaii
15 Texas A&M over 17 Arizona
2 Ole Miss over 17 LSU

Round of 16
1 Virginia over 16 Florida St.
9 Stanford over 8 USC
13 Illinois over 4 Georgia
12 Texas over 5 Tennessee
6 Baylor over 11 Kentucky
3 Ohio St. over 14 Alabama
7 UCLA over 10 Florida
2 Ole Miss over 15 Texas A&M

9 Stanford over 1 Virginia
12 Texas over 13 Illinois
3 Ohio St. over 6 Baylor
7 UCLA over 2 Ole Miss

9 Stanford over 12 Texas
3 Ohio St. over 7 UCLA

3 Ohio St. over 9 Stanford

Colette Lewis said...

From what I can gather, this is the beginning of the end of merit-based hosting of NCAA regionals for tennis. Cost containment has become the top priority, and unless the ITA can convince the NCAA otherwise, there is no seed high enough to assure a regional bid will be accepted.

Ole Miss and Baylor may be the primary victims of this policy change this year, but others will be forced to swallow the bitter pill in future years, and without any warning.

joshg said...

This is ridiculus that this could happen. They say its geographic distribution but how does Boise State to Tusculoosa and a team from NY to Fla make sense. The Ole Miss team earned it and the fans earned it by leading the nation in attendence. Its not like they are an upstart team, they have hosted 8 yrs in a row been in the final four many of those years. It really is sad for the players because they have graduation that weekend and two are seniors that had their parents flying in from overseas to see graduate and watch them play in the regional. Now they cant walk because they will be in baton rouge playing because someone wont take the time to firgure out a fair and rational bracket that rewards the teams that have earned it or either someone has an agenda. The geographic distribution theory is just a idea they are hiding behind to cover up laziness or agendas.

Hawaii fan said...

i agree with all those posts...where is the sense of fairness? i feel really bad for all those seeded teams that don't get to host just because of some obscure rule the ncaa selection committee or ita has regarding regional distribution. the motivation to do well and try and earn a high seed is lost due to the chance you may have to travel to a non seeded team site to play. somebody has some explaining to do this year. either way, i'm following all the action, especially my university of hawaii warriors.

bummer said...

Tech girl, nice cheap shot at ITA, but it's actually the "NCAA" committee here at work. It's not the "ITA Championships." Believe me, there's a big difference between the two as the NCAA committee consists of several administrators who don't understand how important the draw and hosting is.

tennis said...

Coincidentally, Illinois is trying to host the NCAA Championships in the future with their new tennis center. Having the men and women at Illinois is a good trial run. Whether this is wrong or right, I'm not sure.

Lindsay said...

I think the whole geographic distribution is dumb. But even more dumb is punishing the HIGHER ranked team in a region. Ole Miss lost the host site to LSU. If you're going to make a change from the Top 16 teams all hosting, at least let the higher of 2 teams in a region remain the host, as a reward for being ranked so high.

the old pro said...

French WC Isner d Jenkins 6-3;7-6
Levine d Young 6-3;6-2

I don't get it said...

Nothing makes sense here!
There has been a lot of talk about Mississippi and Baylor in the men's side obviously hurt the most with these decisions based on their seeding. I also think in the women's side it was not right with Fresno State. If they needed to move a regional to the Midwest, then why wouldn't they go down the pecking order of the rankings and choose 17th ranked Michigan which is right behind Fresno State in the latest polls and easier to get to then to Champaign and 34th ranked Illinois

TechGirl said...


It wasn't a cheap shot at the ITA, it was a typo that I couldn't go back and correct.

I still hold to what I said. Until the day comes when Stanford is forced "to swallow the bitter pill" then the whole thing will lack all credibility.

On that. Stanford women are 13th in the latest ranking and very lucky to be that high. A few more places down (which they would be if their ranking hadn't been overinflated to begin with, when it was based on votes, not reality) and they wouldn't have earned the right to host.

Does anyone honestly think that they would have been treated the same way as Ole Miss and Baylor?

bummer said...

Wow, tech girl you must really hate Stanford as you are making something that has very little to do about them, all about them.

If you've followed any men's tennis over the last few years you'd realize Stanford has not caught a lot breaks. As for the women that doesn't make a lot of sense either. When the computer rankings start a team's voted on ranking does not keep them higher (see Stanford men like 4 years ago when they started in top 20 and finished outside the top 60). If you look at Stanford's overall results they simply appear to be a bit better than Fresno's. Why take such a close look at No. 13 and not 14 and 15?

As far as the question if the committee had done the same thing to Stanford it did to Baylor and Ole Miss, who knows? Who cares? There's 13 other teams in the top 16 they didn't do this to as well.

Let's try to stay on topic here. The NCAA has a really bad policy when it comes to making its draw and assigning host sites. One that keeps getting worse. Let's leave the paranoia about Pac-10 for another day.

Nancy Kelley said...

I was very confused and disappointed in the hybrid approach to the "hosting" issue. It seems like the committee started with the top 16 approach and then arbitrarily, based on undefined/unclear criteria, made exceptions that really punished teams that have worked REALLY hard for their ranking. I'm more familiar with the women's teams/rankings so when Michigan (17) was bypassed as a midwest hosting option in favor of (34+) Illinois (beat twice by Michigan) it appeared to me to be either remarkably unfair or just really bad decision making by a group of people who don't understand the importance of hosting and getting a fair draw. Sounds like the men's side was even more arbitrary. Nuts. I'm sure the NCAA can do better than this. Reward success - don't punish it.

joshg said...

The agendas seem pretty clear. In the women's bracket, Illinois is try to host a championship in the future and they get picked over more qualified teams. In the men's bracket whose hosting the championship this year? Texas A&M who just happens to be the #14 seed and matches up against the #2 seed Ole Miss. Now even if Ole Miss wins at LSU they still have to go to A&M if they win. They wouldn't trying to pave they way for the host would they?

Austin said...

Alabama had to go to Harvard in 2003 when the Crimson Tide should have hosted and Illinois had to go to Louisville in 2006 when they should have hosted. Those are two examples.

Colette Lewis said...

Thanks, Austin.

I know Illinois had to go to Kentucky due to the mascot issue. What was Alabama ranked at the time it was sent to Harvard?

Austin said...

I believe they were the #14 seed, wound up losing to Baylor in the Round of 16.

I dont think anyone seeded as high as Ole Miss has ever happened to them though. Pretty sure this situation has no precedent. You see it happen with lower seeds occasionally, but with the #2 seed is very odd.

CollegeFan said...

Is this the Peyton Manning year for UVA? The year after Somdev leaves they're the #1 seed again and avoid OSU, UCLA, Ole Miss and Baylor until the finals...

Austin said...

But look who is looming, Georgia.

This is a down year for college tennis from a talent standpoint, giving what I think could be up to 9 teams a chance to win the title. I think the cutoff point is Florida. Their American players on the bottom half of the lineup have regressed since they got to college, so I think they are the highest seeded team who cant win it all.

TechGirl said...


Are you being dumb on purpose? Very clearly the point I'm making is that certain institutions receive preferential treatment purely because of who they are instead of what they've done. I could have included UCLA, USC (which I did in my first post) or Georgia but I thought everyone here was smart enough to understand exactly what Im talking about and that I wouldn't need to repeat myself. Obviously I was wrong.

bummer said...

Tech Girl,

Way to elevate the conversation. No idea how I could confuse your meaning NCAA instead of ITA then you only referring to Stanford twice in your next post (and specifically as the No. 13 seed). Yeah, my bad on those.

Here's an interesting exercise for you since you have a huge chip on your shoulder. Specifically point out instances where Stanford/UCLA/USC/Georgia clearly benefitted from committee politics and favoritism because of their histories over the last say 5 years. And be real, real specific here.

I know you are going to say Amanda McDowell for US Open MD wild card. That's fine, although, it's not like another player from Stanford got the wild card over her in singles the same year(also Georgia's John Isner did not get a wild card in doubles a few years prior when he was led to believe he was going to).

JG said...

Austin, it might be a down year for talent this year but Virginia '10 is going to rival UGA '07 as far as talent and dominance.

PAC10 said...

Next year the pac-10 schools are going to be amazing.

to PAC10 said...

Do you think anyone in the PAC 10 will be able to compete with UVA or UGA? UVA loses Inglot but adds 2 guys that will probably play #3/4 so their already great 4 and 5 guys will be playing 5 and 6... UGA loses Varela but also adds 3 new guys who will be competing.

UCLA loses Srugo and Look and then Abid doesn't look like he's ever going to regain his old form. They're also not adding anyone that looks like they're going to surprise the college tennis world (until transfer time, I guess)

Stanford loses Muller and Bruch and adds 3 blue chippers - only one of whom I like to play top 4 at a high level so they look like they MIGHT be able to threaten UVA or UGA on an off day...

USC doesn't lose anyone, but they're not adding anyone that's going to set the world on fire that I know of and they're not THAT good this year already...

Am I forgetting anyone?

Austin said...

Billy Martin will add some German none of us have ever heard of with three kids and a wife and play #1 or #2 (just messing).

john said...

2 Pac 10 said

You got it . With Jenkins in the UVA line up , they are the team to beat . As far as Pac 10 , Stanford will probably make some noise . But, UCLA , is full of surprises every year so... USC, humm.. they will bring injury prone Sundling and Chris Kearney ? CAL , what happened to CAL ?