Big East Fans Dreaming Too Big
No conference is capable, or deserving, of three #1 seeds in a field of 64 teams
If you are reading this, you are probably acquainted with the view many in the media hold -- that there is an argument to be made for Pittsburgh, Connecticut, and Louisville to be seeded among the best four teams in the NCAA Tournament.
The tournament committee will be meeting this week to consider how the national championship will be decided. It is a beautiful system that has been as intriguing as it has been beneficial to the NCAA. 64 teams. 4 regions. 1 vs. 16, and so on and so on. March's madness is actually brilliance.
That being said, the committee should not be short-sided enough to grant a #1 seed to three teams from each conference and here's why
- Louisville is the regular season champion; should Pitt or UConn instead win the conference tournament, one of these three teams will be a team who has won neither the Big East regular season title, nor the Big East conference tournament
- Big East teams do not play each team twice, leaving a question mark in terms of establishing true hierarchy; "good" teams are not forced to beat up on each other as they are in other power conferences
- Conference RPI is as arbitrary as the RPI in general; is the Big East the best conference, or does it simply have the greatest number of good teams due to its larger than life population?
In the end, talk of three #1 seeds is indeed premature as it doesn't take into account the results of the conference tournaments. It is, however, shortsighted to believe that awarding teams from the same conference is somehow laudable, or even practically possible.