Did red-hot Memphis deserve better than an 8-seed? (AP)We live in an age where everything is criticized. Everyone has a voice. Everyone has an opinion.
That's what makes this year's NCAA tournament field of 68 so tough.
There's not all that much to criticize.
The selection committee pretty much nailed it in terms of who should be included, where everyone was placed and who they were matched up against.
But, again, everything must be criticized to some extent.
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Therefore, allow us some time to simply nit-pick here. These aren't things that are necessarily wrong with this year's bracket, but instead five things that, when forced to criticize, are the easiest targets.
1) Shouldn't the No. 1 overall seed not have the toughest journey to the Final Four?
Kentucky certainly wasn't done any favors. The Wildcats have easily the most talented squad in the nation, and will be a trendy pick to win the national title in bracket pools everywhere. But the potential pitfalls are more numerous for them than any of the other No. 1 seeds. By far.
The 8-9 game alone features the underachieving-yet-still-loaded defending national champs in UConn against Iowa State — the fourth-place team from the Big 12 which has one of the few big men in the country, Royce White, who could physically match freakish freshman star Anthony Davis.
Below that, there's mid-major powerhouse Wichita State, run-and-gun threats Indiana and UNLV, then blue-chippers Baylor and Duke. Oh, and in the lower portions of the bracket, you get some pretty intense double-digit seeds in the form of VCU, über-athletic New Mexico State and a one-time top-10 Xavier squad.
[ South Region bracket busters video: UNLV may be ready for a Sweet 16 run | Predictions ]
In terms of talent, this team might be John Calipari's best bet to deliver him his first national title. But, man, that's quite a road to traverse. Good luck, fellas.
2) The 8 seeds that shouldn't be 8 seeds
Memphis and Creighton fit that bill.
Yes, Memphis struggled to win big games in nonconference play, but it tore through its league schedule, losing only three games by a combined total of six points, and just won three games in its conference tournament by an average of margin of 25 points. The Tigers had a top-20 RPI and schedule strength, and only two losses outside of the RP top 50.
[ West Region bracket busters video: Watch out for Memphis | Predictions ]
Creighton's schedule wasn't as strong, but its RPI (25) is up there, too. Outside of a three-game skid in Missouri Valley play in early February, blemishes are hard to find. They were as consistently strong as a rising mid-major program could be.
Simply put: Both deserved better. Not much better, but better.
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