Seeding NCAA tournament football/basketball combos 1-16

Ohio State is among the Big Ten powers in hoops and football.   (USATSI)
Ohio State is among the Big Ten powers in hoops and football. (USATSI)

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Considering the programs’ recent body of work in both sports, this is an honest attempt at a bracket of best hoops/football combos among teams in this week's NCAA tournament.

The NCAA field is missing several elite football programs -- seven of the end-of-season AP top 10 -- which makes the seeding not so clear-cut.

Note that 2013-14 performances, though carrying serious weight, don't offset past accomplishments. For example, Florida won’t be a 12 seed just because football went 4-8 last year. It’s still Florida football. Not that we’re letting programs live off merits of decades past, but one off year won’t kill a well-established program. Two might.

A lot of these seedings were really tough and could go either way, especially on the back end.

1. Michigan State: If Tom Izzo is the country’s most consistent hoops coach, Mark Dantonio is learning well from his counterpart, averaging 10.5 wins the last four years along with a conference and Rose Bowl title.

2. Ohio State: Urban Meyer’s two titles at Florida and 24-2 record at Ohio State, coupled with Thad Matta’s two Final Four appearances, comprise a strong case for the No. 1 seed. But Izzo is the tiebreaker here.  

3. Louisville: Rick Pitino can’t slip if he wants to outmuscle the football program, which is coming off back-to-back top-15 finishes. Good thing for Pitino he’s got a realistic shot at going back-to-back.

4. Duke: K and Cut form one of deadliest coaching tandems thanks to Duke’s football resurgence despite inferior talent compared to ACC peers.

5. Florida: Obviously Florida would be higher without the 4-8 football implosion last year. But the Gators’ two-sports prowess is still undeniable, with each hoisting two titles since 2006

6. Michigan: Rarely do you say Michigan football has to match the basketball team’s intensity, but that’s the bar John Beilein’s team has set. Wolverines had a down year in football but are still two years off a Sugar Bowl win.

7. Oklahoma: Give second-year Sooners hoops coach Lon Kruger two more years and Oklahoma might crack a top-five seed. He’s always been a good coach. Bob Stoops is doing his part, obviously.

8. Wisconsin: Badgers probably have the third-best Big Ten program in both spots right now, which we think is something to brag about.

9. Baylor: This might be a tad high for Baylor, but Scott Drew has two elite eights and Art Briles’ Bears can outscore most basketball teams.

10: Oklahoma State: Mike Gundy and Travis Ford form a strong tandem – they aren’t winning titles every year (one outright Big 12 championship between them) but build rosters that are always a threat to do so.

11. UCLA: Bruins head coaches Jim Mora and Steve Alford have a combined three years at the school but have done damage in that span.

12. Kansas State: K-State rarely deceives in either sport. You know you’re getting at least a decent, but sometimes great, season.

13. North Carolina: It’s been a while since Tar Heel football surpassed the middle-tier-bowl realm, but when it does, Roy will be waiting.

14. Oregon: Look, the Ducks finally beat Stanford. Dana Altman is starting to bring balance to the football-basketball equation in Eugene. If Mariota's knee doesn't go out in the second half of last season, the Ducks might have been title-bound.

15. Arizona: RichRod has rebuilt his career at Arizona and could break out in Year 3. Wildcats haven’t dropped off under Sean Miller.

16. (play-in game) Brigham Young vs. Syracuse: Dave Rose’s string of seven NCAA tournaments in eight years is impressive. Bronco Mendenhall looks to regain his double-digit-win seasons after back-to-back 8-5 campaigns. Syracuse hoops pushes Orangemen into top 16 but football wasn't much of a presence in the 2000s and is just picking itself up again the last two seasons.

LAST FOUR OUT: Stanford, Arizona State, Texas, Cincinnati

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