The 1-Seed Debate

There's been a lot of debate among the Purdue faithful about the railroading that our Boilers are getting by the national media.

Gary Parrish from CBS has the Boilers 11th in his poll and Jeff Goodman of Fox has them at 9th. Both have the Boilermakers behind Kansas State, who lost twice last week including to Iowa State. Yes, Iowa State. (Parrish also ranked 26 teams, but I'm just assuming he's a functioning illiterate. Goodman works for Fox, so he probably hasn't ever even seen a college basketball game.)

Their logic is that Purdue is beating mediocre teams, which apparently proves nothing. I see. Of course, Kansas State lost to a VERY mediocre (actually, poor) team in Iowa State. At home. On senior night.

Purdue has gone 26-4 this year, as you likely know. They won their conference after being 2-3 while MSU was 5-0. They had a 14 game win streak and a 10 game win streak. They have -- get this -- ZERO bad losses. Usually, when a team is "profiled" at this time of year, they show quality wins and bad losses. Purdue has lost:

--to Ohio State (in a game the Boilers gave away in the final three minutes)

--at Northwestern (their worst loss, though the Mildcats will likely wind up with 20 wins this year, so not exactly Iowa State caliber)

--at Wisconsin (where if they made FTs they would have won) and

--versus MSU in their first game without Rob Hummel (in which they held MSU to only 53 points, but couldn't score themselves).

They have beaten FOUR top ten teams (OSU, MSU, WVU, Tenn) and have gone 3-1 (I'm counting the Minn game) since Rob's knee buckled. Very few teams have only four or fewer losses on the season. Very few have played as consistently well as the Boilers.

And yet, I'm here to tell you, the #1-seed is a pipe dream folks.

I don't think the committee is as dumb as many of the analysts we're subjected to on a nightly basis...BUT, we know that three are locks for 1-seeds: Kansas, Kentucky and Syracuse. They're already decided. So that leaves one spot.

Right now, it's Duke. Sure, Duke can't win tough games on the road. Sure, the ACC is kind of a joke this year. But if Duke wins the ACC tournament (and only Maryland is really a likely challenge for them), you know there's no way Coach K and the golden boys at Duke will be denied.

But let's say somehow they fail to get that #1 seed. Who's next? Most likely West Virginia, who has somehow remained the apple of many media type's eyes.

Since they're in the super-duper-awesomest Big East, WVU will get all sorts of credit for having any kind of a good showing in that tournament (is it really a tournament when you have double-byes?). And if WVU is a candidate, so is Pitt, since they've got nearly an identical record and also play in the infinitely awesome Big East.

And after that? Well, this morning Seth Davis was on Dan Patrick's show and actually said K-State is still in the fricking running for a 1-seed. And I tend to think Seth knows a thing or two, which is why this is even more disturbing. He said if they win the Big 12 Tourney, they might get it. Which is just.....reprehensible.

Take a little look at Kansas State's schedule. They've beaten no one. They finished tied for second in the Big 12...four games back. And when they had their chance to impress, they got swept by Kansas...as per usual. Their one impressive win, if you can call it that, was over then-number-1 Texas. And we all know how valuable that actually is, now that we've seen Texas would be a bubble team if they didn't race out of the gate to 17-0. K-State's body of work is wholly unimpressive. And they just lost to an under-.500 Iowa State team. They shouldn't be in the top ten, let alone even in the conversation about a 1-seed.

In the end, I don't think the committee would do something silly like give K-State or 7 (or 8) loss OSU a 1-seed. But I do think it's Duke's to lose right now and even if they do something nutty like losing early in the ACC tourney, it's then in the hands of a Big East team. And then, after that, if Purdue has absolutely steamrolled the BTT (and Purdue isn't the steamrolling type of team) and is sitting at 29-4, it'd be hard then to not give it to them.

I didn't believe Purdue was going to get a 1-seed even back when Lunardi was predicting them as such, before Rob got hurt. I figured that they would lost another game or two on the season and that would be used against them. And so I've come to grips with this a long time ago. If you see me prattling on about disrespect on our Twitter feed, it's because I think they're not getting respect -- but I'm not even trying to make a case for a 1-seed. I gave that up long ago. I went to Purdue -- I'm used to my teams being overlooked.

They should be a two-seed and I don't think there's much they can do to screw that up, short of losing in embarrassing fashion in their first BTT game.

My point? Don't get yourself too wrapped up in the idea that the Boilers could still get a 1-seed. They won't. It will not happen. And then you'll just be absolutely furious next Sunday, when you should be happy and excited that the big tourney is almost here.

Let's take a two-seed and let them prove (again) that they belong.

(Oh, and the photo accompanying this post? No particular reason. Happy Monday.)

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