Did the NCAA Mix-up Michigan and MSU’s Spots in the Tournament?
Hard-to-believe seedings and angry fans and coaches are nothing new to the NCAA men's basketball tournament, but the NCAA's decision on Michigan and Michigan State this year makes no sense.
Is a clerical error to blame?
Is it possible the NCAA meant to place Michigan in the East Region against Bradley and Michigan State in the West Region against Montana, then simply make a mistake and did the opposite when they announced it?
Live announcements facing the pressure of limited time can lead to mistakes. This is nothing new.
Steve Harvey and Miss Colombia 2015 Ariadna Gutierrez taught us this at the Miss Universe pageant in 2015.
At the Oscars in 2017, "La La Land" was announced as the winner for Best Picture. Too bad is was "Moonlight" that had actually won.
Give some credit to the Miss Universe pageant and the Oscars though. They corrected their mistakes. The seeding controversy between Michigan and MSU feels like a mistake, but nothing changed.
Let's accept the fact that both schools were destined to be #2 seeds regardless of the outcome of the Big Ten tournament championship game. Not that this is the right decision, but slighting the Big Ten for the sake of the ACC is nothing new in men's basketball. So that much is not a surprise.
What is a surprise is sending MSU to the region with the highest ranked #1 seed and sending Michigan to the region with the lowest ranked #1 seed after Michigan State went 3-0 against Michigan this season.
Another surprise is seeing Michigan face the same team in the first round of the NCAA tournament for a second straight year. This rarely happens and it would have made more sense for the Spartans to face Montana, then to see a Michigan vs. Montana rematch.
Maybe it's time to stop considering the ranking of teams vs. others with the same seed and hold a World Cup-style random draw to decide the regions where the already seeded teams will be placed? The NCAA could put it on TV and make more money, so they would like it.
Either way, Michigan State's chip-on-the-shoulder mantra gained some fuel when the brackets were announced and their road to the Final Four got just a little bit tougher with Duke looming in their region.
All because of a mistake by the selection committee?
It looks like it.