March 12, 2013
Debunking Five Myths About This Bracket
1. Defense wins championships
Balance does. But a powerful offense is a more telling indicator of a title team. Eight of the past 10 national champs had a top-five offensive efficiency rating, according to Ken Pomeroy. Five of 10 had a top-five defensive efficiency rating. Florida, Gonzaga, Indiana, Louisville and, surprisingly, Pittsburgh have the best offensive-defense balance this season.
2. In-state surprise?
Colorado State won’t get a ton of attention. But Larry Eustachy’s squad has the makeup of a Sweet 16 team: Five senior starters, top-10 "D" and the best rebounding numbers in the country. Particularly if CSU is paired against free-wheeling, offensive-minded opponents, the Rams have a great shot to advance into the second weekend.
3. Hysterical Hoosier
A No. 1 seed, Indiana coach Tom Crean asserted that Kelvin Sampson and his staff "wrecked" Indiana basketball. No, Indiana wrecked Indiana basketball. Indiana had other options but elected to hire Sampson, a known cheater who was under NCAA investigation.
4. Star power
Here is what the All-American list should be, according to high-major coaches who scouted them all: Marcus Smart (Oklahoma State), Trey Burke (Michigan), Kelly Olynyk (Gonzaga), Victor Oladipo (Indiana) and Doug McDermott (Creighton).
5. Above all: Ignore the jerseys
Confused with parity, mediocrity blankets this bracket. The end result is the same: The No. 12 seeds are equal to the 5s. The 11s are 6s in disguise. Make your picks accordingly.