Mar 11, 2012; New Orleans, LA, USA; Vanderbilt Commodores pose for a photo after defeating Kentucky in the finals of the 2012 SEC Tournament at the New Orleans Arena. Vanderbilt defeated Kentucky 71-64. Mandatory Credit: Crystal LoGiudice-US PRESSWIRE
Although LSU probably won't see their name pop up on the CBS NCAA selection show, they probably should expect to see it later on the NIT selection show, which is on ESPNU at 8:00 CT. NITology currently has LSU as a 5 seed in the NIT tournament, which means they would likely play all potential games on the road. For the season, it looks like LSU defeated a total of three NCAA teams, Marquette, Alabama, and Western Kentucky. It's a step in the right direction, since the total last year was zero.
Here's just some general NCAA tournament information. Note that times of specific game times won't be available for a few more days. There's generally no rhyme or reason for the game times, so it's hard to predict when teams will play during the day.
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Thursday/Saturday pods(3/15, 3/17):
Albuquerque, New Mexico
Friday/Sunday pods(3/16, 3/18):
Greensboro, North Carolina
Thursday/Saturday Regions(3/22, 3/24):
Friday/Sunday Regions(3/23, 3/25):
St. Louis, Missouri
Final Four(3/31, 4/2):
New Orleans, Louisiana
Overall, it was a pretty fair selection for most teams. The consensus opinion, that I happen to agree with, is that Drexel is the only team that deserved to be in but was left out. I think they were more deserving than Iona, the last team in. The SEC ends up with four teams making the tournament, Kentucky, Florida, Vanderbilt, and Alabama.
It will be very difficult for the SEC this year. Kentucky, the overall number one, could have some trouble with Iowa State or UConn in the second game. Florida will have trouble simply because they are a 7 seed and have a possible match up with Missouri in the second game, if they can get by Virginia. Alabama is in the same situation, except that UNC would await. Mississippi State was left out of the NCAA tournament. Could there be a coaching change for the team from Starkville?
Vanderbilt is in an interesting place. They were my pick to win the SEC tournament, which they did today over Kentucky. Normally, Vanderbilt is the smartest team on the court, but with Harvard that isn't true this time. If they can get by Harvard, Wisconsin might await and they are stingy on defense, as well as battle tested with games against UNC, UNLV, Ohio State, and the rest of the Big 10.
Overall, this year I expect to pick less upsets than I normally do. I think the 13 and higher seeds are a little bit weaker this year, but the 4 to 12 seeds are a lot better than normal. I think the upsets that will happen will happen later in the tournament. Even though I did very well picking the SEC tournament, the NCAA tournament is much tougher to predict simply because there isn't a familiarity factor that conference tournaments have.
My official picks will come later tomorrow once I get to crunch some numbers, and you will see them in the ATVS league, so be sure to enter that as well as the SBN's official challenge to win one for the blog. I'll also do a breakdown of why I pick certain teams and my overall goals and strategy if you wish to pick based on something other than seed numbers. Normally, I do well up until the sweet 16 and have had as many as 15 of 16 correct before, but I totally failed after that.
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