Monday, May 3, 2021

NCAA Division I Seeds, Draws Revealed, with Florida Men and North Carolina Women No. 1; SEC Men's, Big Ten Women's Conference Awards

For all the caveats that the ITA and NCAA Division I committee communicated over the past several weeks, the lack of deviation from the most recent computer rankings was the primary surprise this evening when the seeds and brackets were revealed.

In the men's announcement, the biggest deviation from the computer came right at the beginning, with Florida named the No. 1 seed, over Baylor, who topped both the computer rankings and the coaches poll last week. That, of course, isn't a big deal, but the opportunity to host a regional is a significant perk, and there the committee made no adjustments, with every top 16 team in the final published computer rankings who put in a bid to host selected to do so. I had thought that Mississippi or Kentucky might give way to Ohio State, but the Buckeyes loss in the Big Ten final yesterday may have kept that from happening, and they are now set to travel, not to Kentucky, which is closer, but to Wake Forest, the No. 10 seed.  Stanford, also approved to host, was one of the four not selected (Texas Tech and Michigan are the other two), and they travel to Virginia, while Michigan and Arizona head to Kentucky for another great regional.  

The Big Ten hasn't had the same presence in the rankings this year as usual for several reasons, including losses by Ohio State and Michigan during the Kickoff Weekend that proved particularly damaging. But the committee did put Northwestern and Michigan in the tournament, which the computer would not have done.

The men's bracket is here.

The men's seeds:

1. Florida 
2. Baylor
3. Tennessee
4. Texas 
5. Virginia 
6. UNC 
7. TCU 
8. Texas A&M 
9. Central Florida 
10. Wake Forest 
11. Georgia 
12. USC 
13. South Carolina 
14. Kentucky 
15. Mississippi 
16. Illinois

The women's bracket features the only unseeded team to host a regional, with Northwestern, No. 17 in last week's rankings, getting the nod over No. 10 Texas A&M. Texas A&M was not approved for a regional; I assume they didn't submit an application to host. Stanford, Michigan, Tennessee and Duke, all approved for regionals, are instead being sent elsewhere. Stanford, the reigning NCAA champions, will play at  No. 5 seed's Pepperdine regional; Michigan is going to No. 12 LSU and Tennessee, which is No. 15 in the most recently published ranking, is traveling to No. 14 seed Virginia. Duke is going to No. 8 seed Baylor.

Ohio State, the No. 15 seed, is the other Big Ten school hosting; Iowa, which made the semifinals of the Big Ten tournament and has one of the country's top players in Alexa Noel, was not selected.  I know my bias is showing, but it's really a shame that the beautiful University of Michigan facility will be quiet this coming weekend. 

Cal was elevated to the No. 16 seed in order to host, with the Bears most recent computer ranking No. 25, but that may have been calculated before they beat UCLA in the Pac-12 final last Monday. 

The women's announcement is here, and the bracket is here.

The women's seeds:
1. UNC 
2. Texas 
3. Georgia 
4. UCLA 
5. Pepperdine 
6. NC State 
7. Florida State 
8. Baylor 
9. Central Florida 
10. Texas A&M 
11. Florida 
12. LSU 
13. Georgia Tech 
14. Virginia 
15. Ohio State 
16. Cal

The lineups are up right now, with the men's here and the women's here, but they will be taken down shortly, once the challenges are underway.

The singles and doubles selections are scheduled to be announced Tuesday ncaa.com; given today's decisions, I'm not feeling great about the best players in the Big Ten getting into the draws.

Speaking of the Big Ten, the women's conference awards were announced today, including the all-conference teams. 

Athlete of the Year: Alexa Noel, Iowa
Freshman of the Year: Alexa Noel, Iowa
Coach of the Year: Melissa Schaub, Ohio State

The men's SEC awards were announced a few days ago:

Player of the Year: Valentin Vacherot, Texas A&M
Freshman of the Year: Johannus Monday, Tennessee
Newcomer of the Year: Liam Draxl
Coach of the Year: Bryan Shelton

The Big Ten men's, SEC women's and ACC men's and women's awards can be found here.


College Fan said...

Feels like the most wide open Men’s Tournament in years. Seems like 6-7 teams (if not more) could win it all if the chips fall right. Though a little hard to understand that the Big 10 Champ is not even considered a top 10 team. What was the point of the full season Coaches poll if they just use the computer. At least the Coaches had Illinois and Ohio St. higher.

On the women’s side, it feels like it’s UNC’s year with all their talent and experience. But, Texas and others will likely have something to say about it.

Looking forward to it.