Asmussen's (NCAA) field of dreams

Asmussen's (NCAA) field of dreams

Each year, N-G bracketologist Bob Asmussen channels his inner Jerry Palm and projects the NCAA tournament on the eve of Selection Sunday. What he was thinking at 10 p.m. Saturday (his bedtime):

How the mighty have fallen. A year ago, Kentucky was an easy No. 1 on its way to the national championship. Today, many have John Calipari’s team out of the field. Many are wrong. When push comes to shove (those committee members like a physical meeting), the Wildcats will be in the field. It might take some interference from future governor Ashley Judd, but it’s going to happen.

Harder to figure out is what the committee will do with the No. 1 seeds. Gonzaga is an easy choice, despite the gripes about its schedule. And Indiana seemed to lock up its spot with Friday’s win against Illinois. Less certain are Duke (how do you lose to Maryland? Or Lehigh?) and Kansas. If Duke earns the spot, it has a real chance to become the first No. 1 seed to lose its opening game.

Illinois is safely in the field after taking a year off. Give John Groce a pat on the back for taking the program up a notch in one season. The bad news for Groce is that if he wins his opener against Temple, he draws Kansas in the second game. Yikes.

After a great regular season, the S.C. will treat the Big Ten right. Except for Iowa. Can’t look past that ice cream-soft nonconference schedule. But the rest of the teams are set up for long runs. Don’t be surprised if six of the seven make it to the second weekend. At least.

1. Louisville    Big East
2. Ohio State    Big Ten
3. Kansas State    Big 12
4. Syracuse    Big East
5. Oklahoma State    Big 12
6. VCU    Atlantic 10
7. Colorado State    Mountain West
8. Missouri    SEC
9. UNLV    Mountain West
10. California    Pac-12
11. Maryland    ACC
12. Cincinnati    Big East
13. Belmont    Ohio Valley
14. Bucknell    Patriot
15. Iona    MAAC
16. LIU-Brooklyn    Northeast
17. Liberty    Big South

1. Indiana    Big Ten
2. Florida    SEC
3. Georgetown    Big East
4. Marquette    Big East
5. Wisconsin    Big Ten
6. Notre Dame    Big East
7. Arizona    Pac-12
8. Iowa State    Big 12
9. North Carolina State    ACC
10. San Diego State    Mountain West
11. St. Mary’s    West Coast
12. Colorado    Pac-12
13. Akron    MAC
14. Northwestern St.    Southland
15. Florida Gulf Coast    Atlantic Sun
16. Western Kentucky    Sun Belt
17. Southern    SWAC

1. Kansas    Big 12
2. Duke    ACC
3. Michigan State    Big Ten
4. Michigan    Big Ten
5. Memphis    Conference USA
6. Oregon    Pac-12
7. Butler    Atlantic 10
8. Illinois    Big Ten
9. Temple    Atlantic 10
10. Wichita State    Missouri Valley
11. Villanova    Big East
12. Mississippi    SEC
13. Valparaiso    Horizon
14. South Dakota State    Summit
15. Davidson    Southern
16. Albany    America East
17. North Carolina AT&T    MEAC

1. Gonzaga    West Coast
2. Miami    ACC
3. New Mexico    Mountain West
4. UCLA    Pac-12
5. Pitt    Big East
6. Saint Louis    Atlantic 10
7. Creighton    Missouri Valley
8. North Carolina    ACC
9. Minnesota    Big Ten
10. Oklahoma    Big 12
11. Kentucky    SEC
12. LaSalle    Atlantic 10
13. Big Sky champ    Big Sky
14. WAC champ    WAC
15. Harvard    Ivy League
16. Big West champ    Big West
17. James Madison    Colonial

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Illinigrad wrote on March 17, 2013 at 12:03 am

Bob:  You made a strategic error in your bracket.  With MI and MSU in the 3/4 slot you have the possibility that IL would play one of those teams in the Sweet 16.  That is not possible with current NCAA bracketing rules where conference teams are not allowed to meet until the Elite 8 unless there are 9 teams from the conference in the NCAA tournament.

wellsbestilliniqb wrote on March 17, 2013 at 1:03 pm

He only has one B1G team in the West, Minnesota.  One of the top 5 B1G teams has to be out west, IMO.  And, St.Louis has to be higher than a #6 if they win the A-10 tourney. 

What are the chances we see the Illini as a #6 seed, with Kansas State a #3 seed, setting up a 2nd round matchup?  The tourney committee likes to stage intriguing matchups. 

Illinigrad wrote on March 17, 2013 at 11:03 pm

Good thing he is not doing Bracketology for ESPN. He would have major problems.