Jayden's Journal: Does seeding matter? - The Lookout - LCC's Independent Student Newspaper Since 1959
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Jayden's Journal: Does seeding matter?

Jayden Hewitt

Jayden Hewitt

By Jayden Hewitt
Sports Editor

The NCAA basketball tournament, or as most call it “March Madness,” has certainly lived up to its moniker.

There have been plenty of upsets, the biggest being one-seed Purdue’s loss to 16-seed Fairleigh Dickinson. It was only the second time in tournament history a one seed lost to a 16.

To get into all of the upsets it would take a long time, but to put into terms just how rare this tournament has been; there has been no final four since seeding was put into place in 1979 that hasn’t included a one, two or three seed.

None of the one, two or three seeds currently remain in the tournament. The final four is composed of two five seeds, a nine seed and a four seed.

Ninth-seeded Florida Atlantic University will face off with fifth-seeded San Diego State University. The fifth-seeded Miami Hurricanes will battle with the UConn Huskies. Both games are on Saturday, April 1.

The question this tournament begs: Is seeding even necessary anymore? The answer is no. Seeding has become less and less of an issue with the arrival of the transfer portal.

Talent is being dispersed to a much larger number of teams. Players who don’t see their future working out at a major university have decided to transfer for the purpose of increasing their own playing time.

I fully support the transfer portal, and this has been a fun tournament to watch, but the supposed “Blue Bloods” don’t quite rule college basketball like they once did. It’s now a toss-up every year.

It cannot be chalked up to talent disbursement as a whole. It doesn’t help that there haven’t been many truly dominant teams in recent memory.

There’s no really good way to go about not having a seeding process, it just doesn’t matter anymore. At-large bids make up 32 teams while the other 36 are based upon performance. The same could be done without seeds though. Instead it could still be done regionally like it is now.

The only wrinkle (aside from no seeding) would be the process in how teams are determined to play each other. In my newly thought out, not-so-great proposal, teams would be drawn out of a hat, like a lottery.

This would eliminate seeds and create random matchups. The dominant teams would still have the advantage regardless.

The only problem would be trying to avoid having teams like Duke and Kentucky at their best playing each other in a first-round matchup. But, then again, who wouldn’t love to watch elite talent play against each other in the first round?

Would this work? Probably not. Will it ever happen? Absolutely not. But it’s fair to think about reverting to seedless tournament games, as it’s just become such an even playing field for many of the matchups.

Even in the one seed vs. 16 seed matchups or two seed vs. 15 seed matchups, etc., it’s still common to see a team underestimate an opponent and lose the game. It is actually becoming more and more common.

Regardless of result and seeding or no seeding, March is a fantastic time for basketball and brings nothing but fun, and a lot of heartbreak as well.



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