What if?...bracket

The news that Fab Melo would be ineligible for Syracuse comes just two days after the bracket was announced.  Very convenient...had it been known before the announcment, it's possible (note -- not definite) that the Orange could have dropped a seed.  That would have elevated the top two-seed, Kansas, to a one.  If you mess with the top of the bracket, there's a trickle down effect, not so much in seeding as in matchups.  Here's what I think that would have looked like...

1 Kentucky vs 16 MVSU/WKU8 Iowa St vs 9 Saint Louis
4 Wisconsin vs 13 Long Beach
5 Wichita vs 12 VCU
3 Georgetown vs 14 S Dakota St
6 San Diego St vs 11 Texas
2 Duke vs 15 Norfolk St
7 Gonzaga vs 10 West Va

1 Kansas vs 16 Long Island
8 Memphis vs 9 UConn
4 Indiana vs 13 New Mex St
5 Vandy vs 12 Colorado
3 Florida St vs 14 Belmont
6 Cinci vs 11 BYU/Iona
2 Ohio St vs 15 Lehigh
7 Notre Dame vs 10 Xavier

1 UNC vs 16 Lamar/Vermont
8 Kansas St vs 9 Southern Miss
4 Michigan vs 13 Ohio
5 Temple vs 12 Cal/USF
3 Baylor vs 14 Montana
6 UNLV vs 11 NC State
2 Syracuse vs 15 Loyola
7 St. Marys vs 10 Purdue

1 Michigan St vs 16 UNC Asheville
8 Creighton vs 9 Alabama
4 Louisville vs 13 Davidson
5 New Mexico vs 12 Harvard
3 Marquette vs 14 St. Bonny
6 Murray St vs 11 Colorado St
2 Mizzou vs 15 Detroit
7 Florida vs 10 Virginia

It turns out that most of the 8-9 and 7-10 matchups don't change, but the regions they are played in might.  The trickle down effect is that the effort to keep teams from the same conference apart changes with a 1-2 swap of teams from different leagues.

I also moved BYU/Iona up instead of down a seed line, which I feel the committee should have done as well.  They were moved so that the winner wouldn't have to travel west on a quick turnaround.  The difference between an 11-seed and a 12 is much smaller than the difference between a 13 and a 14, so that's a more logical move.  Also, I was able to do it so that there are no non-PIG-playing at-large teams below BYU and Iona in the bracket.

CBS Sports Senior Writer

Jerry Palm started writing about sports on the Internet right after Al Gore invented it. He was the first to bring RPI out in the open and is one of the pioneers of predicting the March Madness bracket.... Full Bio

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