Seeding

We discussed this a bit on the Handsome Hour last night (so go listen NOW if you haven't), but I wanted to talk about Purdue's potential seed and a little bit about why it matters.

I think there are three potential outcomes after the Big Ten Tournament for Purdue, barring some kind of catastrophic occurrence (like, oh, for example, last year vs Minny).

1) Purdue wins the Big Ten Tourney. If this happens, I think Purdue is in line for a potential 1-seed or, more likely, a very strong 2-seed (read: the top team in Chicago).

2) Purdue wins Friday night over MSU (most likely) and then loses to either Wisconsin on Saturday or OSU on Sunday. If this happens, I project Purdue as the 3-seed we currently keep seeing them as in mock brackets.

3) Purdue loses Friday night to Michigan State. If this happens, I think Purdue winds up as a 4-seed, which is kind of incredible... it would be almost exactly what happened last year and would culminate a hell of a roller-coaster month. And it'll make some people ask if Purdue peaked too early, if you believe in those sorts of things.

Incidentally, I think if Iowa pulls the upset of MSU and advances to play Purdue, you'll see the Boilers win by 20 or 30. I hope it happens, but I don't think it will. I also worry about Purdue having to beat MSU three times in one season. While they only need to beat them once on Friday, I can't imagine many teams have ever beaten Izzo thrice in a season.

I think the most likely outcome for this team is the 3-seed we've been seeing. And if they wind up in that Anaheim region that I keep seeing them projected for, well, I'll take the projections I've been seeing, because they would be 1) ND 2) BYU 3) Purdue. That would mean that, assuming seeding more or less holds to form, Purdue would have to beat BYU and/or UND to get to the Final Four. And I'll take that right now. Sure, it would be a load of drama facing the national program that is UND, but we here at Boiled Sports would absolutely love not only knocking out IU fans' second-favorite program, but also ending Scott Martin's season in painful fashion. I only wish Rob Hummel could hit a dagger three in his grill.

We also sometimes see others saying, hey, let's not worry about seeding, let's not stress, etc. And while I sometimes sort of agree that we just need to let things fall where they may, I will say this: seeding does matter. You've heard me say it before: last year's crappy seed cost Purdue a legit shot at the Final Four. If Purdue doesn't wind up running into the national champions in the Sweet 16, well, I think they honestly have a really good shot at getting to Indy. And if they weren't a 4-seed, they wouldn't have faced the Dukies that early...or maybe wouldn't have even been in their region. So it very much matters.

As a 4, you have to win four tough games to get to the Final Four. Siena showed they were there to play and a couple years ago, Northern Iowa was happy to be there, but did a hell of a lot more the following year. Purdue dodged a bullet there. Point is, if you're a 1 or a 2, you have one really cakewalk game and perhaps one more semi-easy game. So now you've only got two really tough games to get to the Final Four. That's a hell of a lot more appealing than having four bloodbaths to get there. Know what I mean?

Of course, all that said, 4-seeds (and lower) can and have advanced to the final weekend. So I certainly won't be making excuses if Purdue doesn't get there and basing those on seed. Because Purdue will have the chance this weekend to earn the best possible seed they can get.

I'm ready for some BTT. Choo-choo, muthas.

A look at the numbers v. MSU

Handsome Hour: March 10, 2011

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