The Sweet 16 is established, and while there were some mild surprises, the overwhelming majority of trends we saw continued into this year's NCAA tournament.
Trend No. 1
The committee screwed up -- again. The Bilastrator told you weeks ago, and told the committee, that seeding was far more important than selection, and that it was likely that this committee would screw it up. Of course, it did. To name just a few of many: Wichita State as a 10-seed was an absolute joke and denied us the Shockers in the second weekend, where they belonged. Wisconsin as a No. 8 seed was a similar joke, and similarly, it wasn't very funny. To have the Badgers seeded behind Minnesota, a team that finished behind Wisconsin in the Big Ten and lost to the Badgers twice, behind Maryland, and on the same line as Northwestern was patently absurd. That jobbed the Badgers, yes, but also jobbed the No. 1 overall seed, Villanova. The tournament might be idiot-proof, but we certainly seem to test that every single year. Enough.
Trend No. 2
The majors dominate the Sweet 16, as is the norm. The Bilastrator tells you annually that the first weekend gives us a few upsets that we can go crazy about, but by Sunday night, things normalize, and there are 13 major conference teams and three mid-majors in the Sweet 16. And, in the past, the mid-majors have usually been some combination of Gonzaga, Wichita State, Xavier and Butler. (Right now, Big East fans are steaming that Butler and Xavier might be called mid-major. They will not be. They are now major-conference teams). Last year, there were 15 major-conference teams and Gonzaga. This year, there are 15 major-conference teams and Gonzaga. Parity? Please. Don't tell The Bilastrator about close games. This is basketball. There have always been close games. Forever.