College / Mar 30, 2010 / 11:00 am

Re-Seeding The NCAA Tournament Should Become A Reality

After the possibility of the last two remaining No. 1 seeds meeting up in the Final Four, this got me thinking. Sure March is Mad, but shouldn’t the National Championship game be the best two teams left? So I started devising a way that regardless of what region in the bracket you get stuck, the grand pecking order would prevail. I introduce to you, re-seeding in the NCAA Tournament.

Don’t get me wrong. In terms of ticket sales and team preparation, each weekend’s pods would have to stay the same. And they should. But wouldn’t it be more fair and produce better games if they re-seeded after every weekend? You can keep teams in their respective regions, but let’s get the best matchups.

I do understand that after bringing up this idea in the office, most people are opposed to it. So let’s just settle on this: Re-seeding in the Final Four. By the time you get to the Final Four, advertisers are just hoping for national powerhouses and media darlings. So why should the best game take place on Saturday and not Monday night? That’s not good for anyone. Fans want to watch the two best teams left standing go at it for the title, so it shouldn’t matter if your region was placed on the left or the right side of the bracket.

This weekend, a 5-seed will end up in the final game. Yes Michigan State was there last season, but Duke was the third over all No. 1 seed and West Virginia was a possibility for a 1-seed before the tournament began. Should Duke vs. West Virginia (assuming they’d each win) be for the whole thing, or should their be the appetizer Saturday night?

What do you think? Should they re-seed after each weekend? Does it make sense the two best teams don’t make it to the Finals because of their placement in a bracket region?

Follow Aron on Twitter at @the_real_aron.

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  • Spliff 2 My Lou

    Great idea. Not! How about we take it a step further and let the NCAA choose the two teams they want to play for the championship at the beginning of the tourney and do away with the first 4 rounds? Or even better how about we don’t have any games at all and just let fans vote for the winners?

    Sorry Aron but this is a terrible idea. You can’t change a teams placement once the bracket is set unless you do a round robin type tourney. That’s the only way it would make sense.

  • http://www.celticstown.com Jay King

    This doesn’t work. As much as it sucks when the two best teams play each other, half the intrigue of the NCAA Tournament is filling out a bracket. That simply doesn’t work if re-seeding happens.

  • Spliff 2 My Lou

    The only time the word re-seed should be synonomous with basketball should be when talking about the hairline of Ginobili or Stojakovic.

  • Spliff 2 My Lou

    Let’s say for sake of argument that the NCAA did do a re-seed this year. Your complaint is that there will be a #5 seed in the championship game. So Mich St. plays Duke and W. Virginia plays Butler. Mich St. wins and Butler wins. Now you have two #5 seeds in the championship game. What did the re-seeding solve? If anything it made it worse.

    I would much rather see a #5 seeded underdog play a #1 or #2 ranked powerhouse in the championship game but that’s just me.

  • http://www.dimemag.com Aron Phillips

    @Spliff 2 My Lou

    They do this in the Stanley Cup playoffs and the NFL playoffs and it works just fine. If two No. 5 seeds beat two No. 1 seeds, then all the power to them.

  • JAY

    @Aron Philips. What the heck would reseeding do?? Spliff 2 My Lou says it perfectly.

    You’re assuming the having a #5 seed in the final is a bad thing. There’s a possibility of that #5 seed winning the whole thing. I don’t see a problem with that.

  • jeremy

    all of the final four teams were preseason top 10 and in the top 15 for most of the season. people are putting way too much stock on butler’s and michigan state’s 5 seeds. they aren’t ordinary 5 seeds.

  • Spliff 2 My Lou

    @ Aron

    I don’t watch hockey so I wouldn’t know. In the NFL it’s about rewarding teams with better records or division champs with home field advantage. If you want to get rid of neutral courts in the NCAA tourney and have games at the court of the higher seed then your idea may have a leg to stand on. Until then your suggestion is merely a solution to something that does not have a problem.

  • Heckler

    aint no problem with the seedings and brackets.
    no need to re-seed.
    this whole idea is a REACH

  • http://www.dimemag.com Aron Phillips

    @Spliff 2 My Lou

    Personally, as a basketball fan, I have no problem with it. I love the tourney and the sacredness of it. But I’m trying to look at it from another perspective. From the perspective of the people with the money. As Darren Rovell predicted the other day, CBS will get 3X the ratings for the Masters vs. the NCAA championship game.

  • Heckler

    @ Aron Phillips

    in a normal year for the Masters, that wont happen for CBS. its only gonna happen because it will be Tiger Woods’ first pro event since his sex text jumpoffs scandal. even you know that.

    and re-seeding wont create a greater demand for college bball on CBS anyway

  • ShowKase

    Might as well just use the BCS to determine who plays for the National Championship and put the rest of the teams in basketball bowl games. SMH.

  • Celts Fan

    I get what you’re saying here Aron, but isn’t a HUGE part of the charm of the Tournament the Cinderellas? You penalize them for beating a good team by lining up the best remaining team left for each round. I don’t like it at all.

    It’s different in pro sports too. There are upsets, but there are no cinderellas – they’re all professionals operating under the same set of rules. That’s not the case at all college sports where a powerhouse program like Kansas can recruit every bigtime guy and a squad like Northern Iowa has no chance at a guy like Xavier Henry without breaking every rule the NCAA has or hiring his entire family for the coaching staff.

  • Heckler

    @ Aron (#5)

    btw…the NFL does NOT re-seed teams for the playoffs. the highest remaining seed plays the lowest remaining seed in each round. thats the way it is. it isnt RE-SEEDING.

    if anything, the NFL SHOULD re-seed the playoff teams. or at least give home field to the team with the nest remaining record.

    its pretty shitty that an 11-5 wild card team has to play a road game in round 2 (divisional road) against a division winner that was only 9-7 or some shit. doesnt make sense to me.

  • Spliff 2 My Lou

    “But I’m trying to look at it from another perspective. From the perspective of the people with the money.”

    Wow Aron you just lost all credibility as a basketball fan. You may be a great basketball businessman but with statments like that you seem to be losing your love for the game. I can understand making purely monetary decisions by the greedy NCAA brass but something doesn’t sit right when writers like you suggest it.

    I’m not dumb, deaf, or blind. I know money is what is all about in the end in sports nowadays. I’m just saying that sometimes decisions need to be made solely for the love of the game.

    It seems as though you would be better suited as a suit in Indianpolis than in street clothes editing for a great basketball publication such as Dime.

  • Celts Fan

    @Heckler – what you just said is reseeding. And I’m okay w/ how the NFL does it. Winning the division has to be worth something, especially with unbalanced schedules.

  • Spliff 2 My Lou

    I don’t know where Jay King’s comment came from but it may make the most sense as far as why this would be a bad idea. It would be impossible to fill out a bracket with re-seeding.

  • http://www.dimemag.com Aron Phillips

    @Spliff 2 My Lou

    Don’t worry. Not losing my way as a fan. But I think there is definitely something to say about this. Will it happen? Probably not. Should it happen? Perhaps. Depends on their goals for the tourney. Jay King is right about the bracket. That would ultimately kill this whole idea.

  • GoEasy

    I just think, number 1 seeds are number 1 seeds for a reason. Take care of business and there shouldn’t be a problem. Aside from a winning bracket, all the people want to see are upsets. Don’t touch the system. I place the responsibility on the team who has been granted the higher seed.

  • isotope

    I’m probably in the minority but I think the BCS does a better job of getting the best two teams in the final. I mean, who REALLY thinks Butler is one of the best top four teams in the league? With the BCS, you prove ALL SEASON LONG that you belong in the championship not with a four game winning streak in the tournament. On any giving day team A can beat team B, even if team B is better.

  • Heckler

    @ isotope–

    the BCS has holes too. i mean, what of the best two teams are in the same conference (ala SEC with Alabama and Florida or Big 12 with Texas and Oklahoma)? that means they HAVE to play each other. which means 1 of those teams will have a loss. meanwhile, in a weaker conference (ala Pac-10 with USC or Big 10 with Ohio St) a team can go undefeated and get a 1 or 2 rank with the BCS even though its clear they are NOT one of the best two teams in the country.

    the NCAA tourney allows for the teams for battle by playing (not by computer ranking) on a (somewhat) neutral court.

    I dont have a major problem with the BCS, I just believe that a playoff system is better and more fair

  • Marionette Hicks

    As much as I would like to see the best against the best, and the fact that I also contemplated reseeding the final 4 before seeing your post. At first it seemed like a logical solution, until I read your article. Americans are a strange lot, we expect if not demand that we be number one. Then at the drop of a hat, we will more often than not root for the underdog the hardest.
    The fact is we will see the better 2 over “the season” play in the Final 4, we will see which prevails as the winner either way. Given Americans rooting nature, if reseeding were to occur the way the pairings are now would be for the best. Now all of us know we will have a team to root for in the final. Although your solution would generate two underdog games, and the final only one, it is after all the grandaddy of them all. Reseed? You bet, but do so in a manner that everyone has a team to root for in the Final. Exactly as we do this year.

  • ctkennedy

    the most important part of march madness is fillin out the brackets u take away the brackets u take away over half the casual fan its like takin tiger woods out the masters…the first thing u do when the selection show is over is fill out the brackets all the way till the champion not the final four

  • sh!tfaced

    Re-seeding would just kill the “cinderella” teams and take away the fun of the upset.

    Gonna go with Spliff and say that the only ones who need re-seeding besides Manu and Peja are LeBron and Marion’s receding hairlines.

  • bone0315

    So if the NFL, in the second round, the highest seed plays the lowest seed, why can that not happen in the NCAA? If a 15 beats a 2, why should the #1 have to play an 8/9 winner, when a 7/10 winner gets to play a “weaker” 15 seed?