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Clemson Faces a Tough Road in the NCAA Tournament

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Last night Clemson was selected as the 12-seed play-in game in Dayton OH against Conference USA Champion Alabama-Birmingham. We'll go into the specifics of the matchup with UAB on Tuesday after we digest some information and stats, but right now I do believe that we'll win this one and face #5 seed West Virginia. I saw some are already picking us to beat WVU, but I'm not ready to go that far just yet. I will say that if we win there, as one 12 always beats a 5, that I don't see us making it past Kentucky.

Here we want your thoughts on the NCAA Tournament seeding and picking the brackets, and in particular Clemson's region. You don't have to divulge all your picks, because we have started a Shakin The Southland group on ESPN's tournament challenge, but we'd like to hear your reasoning.

First, the ACC got only 4 teams in, and one was a play-in game. The Big East got 11, the SEC 5 (WTF??) and the Big Televen got 7. The level of coaching in this conference has to improve. Teams like NC State, Virginia, and Wake Forest, that have usually been pretty good at basketball, need upgrades in talent and coaching. Gary Williams needs to go buy some players or a recruiter before he gets an axe.

In the East Bracket, Ohio State seems to have lucked out to me on the draw. They are a very sound team and I don't think they'll struggle until the Elite 8. If UNC doesn't get their act together to start some games, they'll be out of this tournament in a hurry. You saw Duke didn't let up on them late in the game like we did. When it appeared UNC was starting a run at the 4 min mark, Duke nailed a 3 and UNC blew one, and at that time I thought the game was over. I would be surprised if they made it to the Sweet 16 right now.

The really scary team in my mind in the East is Syracuse. What will they do? A well-coached and talented team with a relatively easy road to me in the first couple rounds.

In the West, obviously Puke should get to the Sweet 16 easy. How did Tennessee get a #9 seed against Michigan as an 8 though? Texas got a tough road with AZ, an Oakland team that will give them problems, and Memphis. I could see either AZ or Texas getting out of that one. Whomever Duke gets, I think thats a game to watch.

I don't know much about San Diego State, but they don't have Kemba Walker. I could see him taking UConn all the way to the 8 or perhaps Final Four, but I don't see them going any further.

The Southwest sets up pretty good for Kansas as well early, until they likely face Louisville. There are two tough games that I'm not sure about here: A&M vs FSU, where the first to 50 wins, and Georgetown vs (likely) USC. I'm not feeling GTown this year. A&M vs FSU will be ugly as hell to watch. I doubt any of those 4 squads make it beyond ND and Purdue. Richmond and Vandy is another game I'm having trouble figuring out.

As an aside, I don't see the selection of VCU. I think Shaka Smart is a good coach but I wouldn't have put them in.

In the SW Region, Butler vs ODU...damn. Kansas State and Utah State got a 5 and 12? Florida got a 2 seed? Thats worse than giving UGA a 10. Lots of tough picks in this one with Gonzaga, Butler, and Belmont all able to give problems to people.

How do you see Clemson going in the NCAA this year, and what do you think about the teams left out vs the last ones in? Did the Committee screw this one up?


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