Sunday, March 10, 2013

Getting The Shaft

It's March, and the Madness is in full swing. Each year around this time, everyone starts talking about who beat who last night, who hit the game winning shot, and who is going to be in the tournament. Pundits like the famed "bracketologist" Joe Lunardi make their predictions for seeding, and every year there is a team who is projected far lower than they should be. That team this year? The Iowa State Cyclones.

Iowa State has had a year of significant ups and downs, and their record does not reflect just how good this team has been. The Cyclones rank in the top 5 in the NCAA scoring 80.0 points per game, 23rd in the nation in rebounding (38.9 per game) and 14th (16.2 per game) in assists. They played a very strong non-conference schedule, including games against Cincy, UNLV and BYU. They have wins over an 11th ranked Kansas State team and a 13th ranked Oklahoma State team. All this has culminated in Iowa State having a projected seed of 11 in the Midwest bracket according to Lunardi.

Why such a low seed for such a solid resume? My thought is that Iowa State gets the shaft. Seven of their ten losses have been by ten points or less, including two heart-breaking loses to Kansas. Neither of those loses should weigh heavily on the minds of the committee. If not for one lucky shot and one blown call, ISU wins BOTH contests. Two more of their losses, to Texas Tech and the first match-up versus Oklahoma State, were also decided by questionable calls by refs who consistently give every team the benefit of the doubt versus ISU.

NCAA selection committee, it would be an injustice if these mistakes were to cost the Cyclones the chance to be a high seed in the upcoming tournament. Though, with our recent history as a high seed, maybe you'd be doing us a favor.