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The Dagger: College Basketball Blog

The Dagger reseeds the Sweet 16; Ohio State still tops, VCU rises

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The Dagger reseeded the Sweet 16 based solely on the two (or three, in VCU's case) games each team has played so far in the NCAA tournament. Look great in your first two rounds? You'll be high on this list. Struggle and you're near the bottom. This isn't an exercise designed to predict a winner or identify the best team remaining, even though Ohio State would probably top those lists as well.

1. Ohio State (d. UTSA, 76-46; d. George Mason, 98-66) -- The Buckeyes went down 11-2 to George Mason before exploding on a 50-15 run to close the half. 50-15? That's the type of score Ohio State usually sees when dominating the Ohios and Eastern Michigans of the world on the football field. (Or when playing an SEC team in the BCS national championship.)

2. Kansas (d. Boston University, 72-53; d. Illionis, 73-59) -- Playing Illinois instead of UNLV was the best thing for the Jayhawks. Because of the Bill Self connection, KU's players were forced to take the Illini seriously and couldn't even consider coasting against an inferior opponent, thus running the risk of another Farokhmanheshing.

3. VCU (d. USC, 59-46; d. Georgetown, 74-56; d. Purdue, 94-76) -- Look past the name on the jersey, the conference affiliation and the controversy about whether the school should have received an at-large bid. VCU played two of the most efficient games of the tournament in stopping Georgetown's offense and dominating Purdue's stout defense.

4. Connecticut (d. Bucknell, 81-52; d. Cincinnati, 69-58) -- A future rule for the NCAA tournament selection committee: Don't ever set up conference games for the round of 32 again. Connecticut-Cincinnati wouldn't have been worthy of a slot on Big Monday let alone on the opening Saturday of the tournament.

5. BYU (d. Wofford, 74-66; d. Gonzaga, 89-67) -- Keep an eye on this Jimmer Fredette kid. He flies under the radar, but I like his game.

6. Wisconsin (d. Belmont, 72-58; d. Kansas State, 70-65) -- The Badgers are receiving far too much credit for beating 13th-seeded Belmont and far too little criticism for letting Jacob Pullen almost single-handedly eliminate them in the round of 32. That being said, I just filled out a Second Chance bracket and have the Badgers in the Final Four.

7. Florida (d. UCSB, 79-51; d. UCLA, 73-66) -- How will the Gators fare when playing a team outside the California university system? Ken Pomeroy's log5 ratings have Florida as a slight underdog to BYU.

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8. Kentucky (d. Princeton, 59-57; d. West Virginia, 71-63) -- Opening-game escapes are forgotten when they're followed by emphatic victories.

9. North Carolina (d. Long Island, 102-87; d. Washington, 86-83) -- All the controversy over whether time should have been added at the end of the Washington game detracts from the fact that the Venoy Overton heaved the ball from half court for no apparent reason. The Heels are a value buy right now: John Henson's emergence + a favorable matchup in Marquette = another Elite Eight for Ol' Roy.

10. Duke (d. Hampton, 87-45; d. Michigan, 73-71) -- Duke reacted to Michigan's 1-3-1 zone the same way Coach K would have if Tracy Wolfson conducted the postgame interview in Chinese.

11. Butler (d. Old Dominion, 70-68; d. Pittsburgh, 71-70) -- Nasir Robinson committing a dumb foul after Shelvin Mack's equally dumb foul would have been like if Eric Montross had called a timeout after Chris Webber in the 1993 NCAA title game.

12. Florida State (d. Texas A&M, 57-50; d. Notre Dame, 71-57) -- The Seminoles advanced to their first regional semifinal since 1993 without much help from ACC Defensive Player of the Year Chris Singleton. So far in the tournament, the forward has more fouls (seven) than points (five) and rebounds (four).

13. Marquette (d. Xavier, 66-55; d. Syracuse, 66-62) -- Eight years ago, Marquette and Kentucky played in a regional final in the same quadrant of the bracket. It could happen again this year if both pull Sweet 16 upsets.

14. Richmond (d. No. 5 Vanderbilt, 69-66; d. No. 13 Morehead State, 65-48) -- Every time Morehead State threatened, Richmond came down the court, ran its offense and got an easy basket. If they can hang with Kansas for the first 10 minutes, the Spiders could give KU fits in the second half.

15. San Diego State (d. Northern Colorado, 68-50; d. Temple 71-64, 2OT) -- The Aztecs practically begged Temple to win that game on Saturday. The Owls didn't oblige, thanks to wild play from Juan Fernandez and a curious decision by coach Fran Dunphy not to go two-for-one in overtime.

16. Arizona (d. No. 12 Memphis, 77-75; d. No. 4 Texas, 70-69) -- Arizona didn't so much beat Memphis as it did survive them. Similarly, the story of the Texas game was mostly about internal counting mechanisms rather than anything that the Wildcats did on the court.

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