We’re five days from Selection Sunday, so this is a good time to mention a disclaimer on bracket projections. The NCAA tournament selection process is more art than science. It’s highly subjective. The only opinions that matter are those in the committee room.
I could make a legitimate argument that Creighton deserves to be higher on the board than power-conference teams like Florida and Notre Dame. I could also make a legitimate argument that Creighton deserves to lower than teams like New Mexico, St. Mary’s and Memphis.
Honestly, I think Creighton will be a 6 or 7. But if the committee watched that Wichita State loss closely, it might say, “Gee, look how badly Creighton played against a quality opponent” and give the Jays a 9 or 10 seed. You never know. So take the statements of Joe Lunardi and Jerry Palm and Andy Glockner with a grain of salt. Frankly, they don’t matter.
Having said that, the speculation is incredibly entertaining. So I wrote another NCAA tournament column for Monday’s World-Herald. Here are my top four seeds by region if the season ended today (I had a very hard time choosing teams once I reached the No. 4 line):
Midwest (St. Louis)
>> Creighton showed a lot of guts in St. Louis, matching a desperate Illinois State team shot for shot. The Jays continue to play with poise in clutch moments. They continue to hit big shots. But this weekend, they also played defense, which is critical this time of year.
The following is gonna sound like an insult; I don’t mean it that way. But it’s hard to believe Creighton had a four-year NCAA tournament drought.
With its resources and tradition, a finish outside the top-3 in the Valley should be rare. I suppose CU’s dry spell shows how fine a line mid-majors walk in trying to make the NCAAs. It also shows how miserably Dana Altman’s recruiting plan failed his last few years in Omaha.
>> Jason King, one of college basketball’s best scribes, reviews the season. He names Doug McDermott a first-team All-American. No doubt McDermott’s performance Sunday on national TV was a huge boost for his All-American hopes.
>> Really good story by SI’s Luke Winn on Doug McDermott and Grant Gibbs.
>> You will never again see Michigan celebrate like this when Ohio State wins a game. It clinched a three-way tie for the Big Ten title. Michigan hasn’t even shared a conference since 1986.
>> Gotta say, I was stunned to see Tiger Woods’ 62 on Sunday. What he did on the final two holes demonstrates that his ceiling is as high as anyone in golf. But did Woods wait too long to figure it out? Rory McIlroy is the new No. 1 and it’s no fluke. Suddenly golf has an opportunity. The rivalry between Woods and Phil Mickelson never materialized because Lefty wasn’t consistent. Maybe McIlroy-Woods is what we’ve been waiting for.
>> I love Darin Erstad’s no-nonsense stance on the Big Ten’s pitch for a summer baseball season. Erstad is essentially saying “excuses are for wimps.” That’s a great message to send publicly. But privately, I hope Erstad is working with Jim Delany and other Big Ten coaches to level the playing field in college baseball. The summer season is too drastic an idea. But if things don’t change when it comes to matters like the RPI, Erstad might be singing a different tune four or five years from now.
>> Sam McKewon wrote about the Husker women and their incredible weekend in Indy. This team continues to exceed expectations.
>> I missed this recently. Baseball America released its top 100 prospects for 2012. You might recognize No. 24.
>> Deron Wiliams had 40 in the second half Sunday? Wow. And that wasn’t even the best point-guard performance of the day. Rajon Rondo had 18 points, 17 rebounds and 20 assists. Maybe Boston shouldn’t trade him after all.
>> Jeremy Lin‘s story has made a big impact on a Chinese-American basketball team in Boston.
>> In Kansas City, they’re celebrating the best college basketball season ever.
>> The biggest challenge in signing Peyton Manning? It might be changing the offense.
>> The next two weeks are gonna be a little hectic in the World-Herald sports department. NCAA tournament berths for the Creighton men and Husker women. A potential coaching change for the Husker men. State boys basketball tournament. Spring football. And, of course, Omaha’s host weekend for the NCAAs.
Thus, the Bites will be a little more spotty than usual. Some good days, some bad. The bright side is there will be plenty of other goodies on Omaha.com and in the newspaper — some of it hopefully written by me — to occupy your time.