March Madness lives up to its name. Wide eyes are plastered to screens across the country in the last milliseconds of games, praying for the one shot that could alter athletes’ lives forever. For weeks in advance, crazed fans complete multiple NCAA brackets with high hopes of a billion dollar prize. With innumerable twists and turns, determining the champion beforehand is nearly impossible, and seeding only serves to impede the process because of its inaccuracy.
The University of Kentucky (UK) entered the NCAA tournament ranked eighth but is now competing in the final four and has an opportunity for the championship title. On the other hand, Wichita State was number one. In the round of 32, UK defeated Wichita State 78-76. Although projected much higher, Wichita State suffered defeat.
Also, in the round of 64, Dayton (11), the “Cinderella team,” conquered Ohio State (6) 60-59 and continued on in the competition after beating Syracuse (3) in the round of 32 and Standford (10) in the Sweet Sixteen. Despite a low rank, Dayton proved its proficiency and fought farther than many spectators would assume based on its seeding.
Seeding is based solely on win-loss record, without reviewing a team’s scheduling difficulty or ease. Some teams are not adequately tested for skill after competing against subpar competitors. These organizations have an outstanding record, and therefore a high rank, but they might not be competitive in the NCAA because they are facing different, more adept athletes.
Seeding should be based on more factors than a win-loss record. The conferences and teams should be evaluated, and after determining skill levels, rank should be determined. If this system were in place, maybe the billion dollar prize would finally be rewarded to a crazed fan.