Media Unveils 2014 NCAA Tournament Mock Selection Bracket

“But coach, we should be a 1-seed…” . Mandatory Credit: Mark L. Baer-USA TODAY Sports

For the past few years the NCAA has invited members of the college basketball media to travel to Indianapolis, home of the NCAA headquarters, and take part in a mock selection process. This process allows the media to do what the NCAA tournament selection committee does but in a much more simplified form.

During this two-day process members of the media are given a list of teams to choose for their at-large pools, as well as given different scenarios that can play out to change their brackets. For example, one scenario that was given to this year’s committee was Kentucky losing to Arkansas in the quarterfinals of the SEC tournament. Members of the mock selection process were to take this information and weigh it on where they would place the Wildcats in the tournament field.

Through this process the media is given more insight as to just how difficult it is for the selection committee to make decisions on seeding and matchups for the NCAA tournament. Besides the usual (strength of schedule, RPI, non-conference record, etc.) the committee must also figure out where each team will play geographically, potential for repeat games that have already occurred during the regular season (which are generally avoided at all costs) among many others. It’s a grueling process to say the least. Just trying to follow the action on Twitter can be exhausting.

Now the 2014 NCAA Tournament mock bracket is complete and available to other members of the media and fans alike to dissect, critique and admire. The official bracket can be found here and the official statement on the event from the NCAA here, but we’ve also placed it below for your convenience.

East (New York) West (Anaheim)
1. Syracuse 1. Arizona
16. Alabama State/Eastern Illinois 16. Utah Valley
8. VCU 8. Xavier
9. Arizona State 9. Gonzaga
5. Ohio State 5. Iowa
12. Harvard 12. Delaware
4. Kentucky 4. Saint Louis
13. UC Santa Barbara 13. Georgia State
6. Louisville 6. UCLA
11. Georgetown 11. Minnesota
3. Michigan 3. San Diego State
14. Canisius 14. Davidson
7. North Carolina 7. Memphis
10. Oklahoma State 10. Colorado
2. Villanova 2. Duke
15. Bryant 15. American
 
South (Memphis) Midwest (Indianapolis)
1. Florida 1. Wichita State
16. Stony Brook 16. Coastal Carolina/ Northern Arizona
8. UMass 8. SMU
9. California 9. George Washington
5. Texas 5. Virginia
12. Providence/Missouri 12. Illinois
4. Wisconsin 4. Iowa State
13. Stephen F. Austin 13. Louisiana Tech
6. UCONN 6. Kansas State
11. Tennessee/West Virginia 11. Toledo
3. Creighton 3. Cincinnati
14. N.C. Central 14. Cleveland State
7. Pittsburgh 7. Oklahoma
10. New Mexico 10. Stanford
2. Kansas 2. Michigan State
15. FGCU 15. IPFW

There are a few things that can be critiqued here but it’s overall a fair and respectable bracket. One of the oversights is that the UCLA Bruins (6-seed) is scheduled to face the Minnesota Gophers (11-seed). This would be a repeat game from the 2013 NCAA tournament where UCLA and Minnesota faced each other with the exact same seeds. It’s unlikely this game would happen because, as we mentioned earlier, the selection committee doesn’t like to go with repeat games, especially in the second round.

There’s also a few questionable selections for the automatic qualifiers on this bracket. Obviously a lot can happen during tournaments and maybe something crazy can happen just like every year. However, I found it extremely interesting to see that the Summit League champion is the IPFW Mastodons.

While IPFW is tied for second in the conference and holds victories over both South Dakota State (tied for second with IPFW) and North Dakota State (leader) they have lost three road games in the conference (one each to SDSU and NDSU as well as at South Dakota). Coincidentally, IPFW lost at SDSU by 28. Important to note, the Summit League championships are held in Sioux Falls, S.D. Maybe a bit of a stretch to have IPFW in as the winner but it could happen.

I’m a little disappointed because this bracket came out the same day I made my personal Final Four predictions.  If this were to hold up two of my Final Four teams (Michigan State and Iowa State) would meet in the Elite Eight if both teams were to get that far. Also, a little self-pat on the back here, last week I wrote about the West Virginia Mountaineers making a run towards an NCAA Tournament appearance. Many called me crazy to think they could make it to the Big Dance. Well, guess who’s penciled in as an 11-seed in the mock selection bracket? The Mountaineers.

What does all of this mean? In the grand scheme of things, not much. This is merely a way to get media members to appreciate how much work, time and effort the selection committee puts into putting together the final bracket for Selection Sunday. All this is is another mock bracket and there are many of those out there during this portion of the college basketball season. It’s all in good fun until things start to get serious.

Take this with a grain of salt but it’s always interesting to see how the official NCAA mock bracket turns out. They have a pretty decent track record with these sorts of things.

Topics: 2014 NCAA Tournament, Alabama State, American University Eagles, Arizona State Sun Devils, Arizona Wildcats, Bryant, California, Canisius Golden Griffins, Cincinatti, Cleveland State, Coastal Carolina, Colorado Buffaloes, Creighton, Davidson Wildcats, Delaware Blue Hens, Duke Blue Devils, Eastern Illinois, FGCU, Florida Gators, George Washington, Georgetown Hoyas, Georgia State, Gonzaga Bulldogs, Harvard Crimson, Illinois, Iowa Hawkeyes, Iowa State, IPFW Mastodons, Kansas Jayhawks, Kansas State, Kentucky Wildcats, Louisville Cardinals, Lousiana Tech, Memphis Tigers, Michigan State Spartans, Michigan Wolverines, Minnesota Gophers, Missouri, Mock Bracket, N.C. Central, New Mexico Lobos, North Carolina Tar Heels, Northern Arizona, Ohio State Buckeyes, Oklahoma Sooners, Oklahoma State Cowboys, Pittsburgh Panthers, Providence, Saint Louis Billikens, San Diego State Aztecs, SMU, Stanford Cardinals, Stephen F. Austin, Stony Brook Seawolves, Syracuse Orange, Tennessee, Texas Longhorns, Toledo, UC Santa Barbara, UCLA Bruins, UCONN, UMass, Utah Valley, VCU Rams, Villanova Wildcats, Virginia Cavaliers, West Virginia Mountaineers, Wichita State Shockers, Wisconsin, Xavier Muskateers

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  • Jeff Hankins

    Is anything real anymore? Mock brackets, drafts, fantasy leagues, this is all sports journalist went to school for anymore and they’re getting paid real money to write about nothing.

    • Phil Watson

      In this case, these journalists go through the process as if they were the actual selection committee, using the same data and facilities to create a bracket. It’s not just one guy sitting at a desk saying “these are the teams that should be in.” Through that exercise, the public learns about the selection process, which used to be strictly behind closed doors.

      • Jeff Hankins

        I don’t care how it’s done. Anymore, everything is mock this and fantasy that. What happened to REAL stories about real results. I root for a specific team, why would I cheer for other players on other teams to do well. It makes no sense. I don’t care about who MIGHT be in the tournament. It will change hundreds of times before selection Sunday.

        • Nathan Giese

          Things will obviously change between now and Selection Sunday but this is more of a learning process. Say your specific team doesn’t make the tournament and you are upset by this. By having this information available to the public as to just how much time and planning is put into the final bracket, their hope is to make casual observers appreciate the work they do to put on the best tournament possible.

          • Jeff Hankins

            That’s all fine and good. I’m just saying that I’m sick of this whole mock and fantasy thing, that has overtaken the real sports world.

        • Phil Watson

          It must be awful for you, to be forced to read things you know going in that you’re not interested in. Do they strap you down “Clockwork Orange” style and force your eyes open in front of the monitor? Do they hold your family hostage and compel you to view things you don’t want to view? There seems to be an epidemic of this on the Internet; I have legitimate concerns that it doesn’t happen to me, so any help you could give me would be greatly appreciated.

          • Jeff Hankins

            All right now your’e just wasting my time and energy

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