How I created the 2011 Men’s NCAA Division I team bracket

Let’s begin this process using the 400-mile rule where the Tournament Committee tries to keep as many schools as possible within 400 miles of home, so they can bus instead of fly.

We begin out west, where it is fairly obvious that Washington (2) and BYU (3) can go just about anywhere since they have to fly. If Stanford, Cal, USC and UCLA all host, then San Diego (2), UC-Irvine (3), Fresno St (3), Cal Poly (3) and Sacramento St (4) all stay in state somewhere. Although, with only three 3-seeds, one 1-seed and one 2-seed, I would not be surprised is this is the area a 1-seed is shipped somewhere.

Let’s head to the state of Florida, where if they enforce the 400-mile rule, we get Florida, Miami, Florida State and possibly SC State.

In Texas, I still expect all three 1’s to host: Baylor, Texas A&M and Texas. The College Station Regional will have Texas A&M along with my guess of Washington or Minnesota for the 2-seed, then LSU and Alcorn State. Baylor will host either Oklahoma or Texas Tech as the two seed, Tulsa (as the 3-seed) and maybe TAMU-CC or another random 4-seed. Texas will play host to either Texas Tech or Oklahoma, then Rice as the 3-seed and TAMU-CC or a random 4-seed. My random 4-seed pool for this is Marist, Army, Binghamton or Quinnipiac. I am guessing Binghamton gets shipped to California somewhere, as they have already played at Texas A&M and Tulsa the last two years, if my memory serves me right.

If you just start drawing circles around things, then you really have to wonder how much they’ll bunch up the SEC or the ACC teams in the same regionals.

I do think a logical regional would be Tennessee hosting Vanderbilt, East Tennessee St. and Middle Tennessee St.

It looks like UVA hosts a regional with Wake Forest, VCU and George Washington. Duke will likely host UNC, UNCW and Radford.

Moving along we get to Athens, Georgia where Georgia hosts Mississippi, Virginia Tech and either Samford or a random 4-seed. In Atlanta, I think Georgia Tech hosts either Mississippi St or Auburn (I am leaning towards Mississippi St.), plus a random 3-seed and either Samford or a random 4-seed. It’s a major airport hub, easy to get anyone in there, so I would figure they get two teams flying in.

The Midwest is tricky with OSU, Illinois and Kentucky all having top seeds. I think I just need to pick some teams and go with it.

Charlottesville: Virginia, Wake Forest, VCU and George Washington
Los Angeles (USC): USC, San Diego, UC-Irvine and UMKC
Knoxville: Tennessee, Vanderbilt, East Tennessee St and Middle Tennessee St
Columbus: Ohio State, Notre Dame, Maryland and Cleveland State
Waco: Baylor, Oklahoma, Tulsa and Texas A&M-CC
Athens: Georgia, Mississippi, Virginia Tech and Samford
Palo Alto: Stanford, Michigan, Fresno State and Binghamton
Gainesville: Florida, Miami, Florida State and SC State
College Station: Texas A&M, Washington, LSU and Alcorn St
Lexington: Kentucky, Indiana, Nebraska and Eastern Kentucky
Durham: Duke, UNC, UNCW and Radford
Los Angeles (UCLA): UCLA, Auburn, Cal Poly and Quinnipiac
Austin: Texas, Texas Tech, Rice and Army
Berkeley: Cal, Minnesota, Cornell and Sacramento State
Atlanta: Georgia Tech, Mississippi State, BYU and Marist
Champaign: Illinois, Louisville, Drake and Ball State

Remember what I said about teams like Marist, Army, Binghamton or Quinnipiac. They are interchangeable. I would also consider Washington and Minnesota interchangeable. Nebraska, BYU and Cornell and also teams that can go anywhere.

If you really want a strange scenario, they could ship Stanford or Cal to Drake and drive in Minnesota as the 2-seed and UMKC as the 4-seed.

Who knows? Oh, only the eight on the committee… I cannot wait until tomorrow.

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