The 2013 Final Four is set.
No. 1 overall seed Louisville will play No. 9 seed Wichita State, the first representative from the Missouri Valley Conference since Indiana State in 1979. And two No. 4 seeds meet in the other national semifinal: Michigan and Syracuse.
All is as it should be.
We know this because the national media has not made a big deal that it’s not as it should be.
Think back just two years ago when Butler and VCU both made it to Final Four. Both teams were on the same side of the bracket, which meant one would definitely be playing in the 2011 national championship.
This shouldn’t happen!
Even though Butler was the defending national runner-up. Even though VCU had won five straight tournament games to get to this position. (Does anyone else remember Jay Bilas saying that the VCU tournament selection was “indefensible?”) The matchup between Connecticut and Kentucky was the rightful one that should be for the title.
Let’s reseed the tournament more than halfway through the thing.
How about the year before? In 2010, many on a national level seemed frustrated to be forced to have to watch Michigan State take on the upstart Butler for a spot in the title game, when the other semifinal between the two top remaining seeds, Duke and West Virginia, would be much more proper as a championship matchup.
But in 2013, all is right. The highest and lowest remaining seeds will meet in one semifinal and the two middle remaining seeds meet in the other. Isn’t that what makes it all right?
No, it’s right because these are the four teams that haven’t lost a game yet. These are the four teams that have beaten the teams that were on the bracket line across from them in each game.
This is the tournament that was set out for us two weeks ago.
Were all the seeds right? Probably not. Were there injuries or missed calls that changed outcomes? Probably so.
But each team knew the path it must take to win a championship. To change that path midway through the journey is what would be “indefensible.”
The Final Four should not be reseeded this year. But neither should it have been in any year before.
Listen closely. You won’t hear any calls for reseeding this year. The national media is satisfied with these pairings.
But you’ll hear it again someday. Watch closely for two Cinderellas who happen to dance into the Final Four on the same side of the bracket.