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March Madness 2017: What if the selection committee just went by KenPom?

NCAA Basketball: Final Four Championship Game-Villanova vs North Carolina Bob Donnan-USA TODAY Sports

When the results of the NCAA Tournament selection committee’s work hit the airwaves last night, there were more than a few question marks among the basketball-loving world.

How did Minnesota end up ahead of Wisconsin on the seed lines? Should Syracuse have gotten in over Wake Forest? And what the hell is up with Wichita State being seeded 10th?

So we decided to do something about it. In fact, you could say we did as much as was in our power to do: We did some math and made an image that we’re now putting up on the internet.

That right there, ladies and gents, is how the tournament were look if it were set up solely based on KenPom rankings. You can download it in PDF form, too.

Virginia is one of the big winners in this re-arrangement, picking up a 2-seed in the East. Wichita State, as expected, moves up the most. The biggest drop is Maryland, sliding 22 spots on the overall seed line, enough to go from a 6-seed to an 11. Arizona and UCLA also dropped pretty hard.

Providence and USC are out, with Clemson and TCU coming in instead. Kansas State and Wake Forest no longer have to play in the First Four.

For those of us who enjoy accusing the selection committee of seeking out “storylines” in the matchups, they actually happen somewhat organically. Sure, I quasi-forced a potential Louisville-Kentucky matchup in the Elite Eight. Other than that, things shook out without me moving much of anything around.

Some thoughts on what would be fun in this alternate March Madness:

  • Florida vs. Florida-Gulf Coast, in Orlando. Dunk City, taking on the big boy on the block in their home state. Would be a fantastic environment.
  • Oregon vs. Vermont. The Battle of the Birkenstocks. Bring your own Ben & Jerry’s and craft beer.
  • South Carolina v. Clemson. Just for Will’s enjoyment.
  • Iowa State v. UNC-Wilmington. This game would be played at approximately four million miles per hour.
  • Virginia Tech vs. Maryland, in the First Four. A UVA hate-watch game.