1) "Dance, Dance" by Fall Out Boy
2) "Makes Me Wanna Dance" by Baha Men
3) "Safety Dance" by Men With Hats
4) "Dancin' in the Streets" by Martha and the Vandellas
5) "Tiny Dancer" by Elton John … uh, never mind…
6) "The Brilliant Dance" by Dashboard Confessional
7) "Dance with the Devil" by Immortal Technique
8) "Turkey Dance" by Moose Butter
9) "Land of 1000 Dances" by Wilson Pickett and lastly,
10) Any song on Bowling for Soup's "Drunk Enough to Dance" album.
There, now that we have that out of the way…
UNC has got to be locked in as the top seed overall, to play the winner of Coppin State and somebody else (the 16-20 Eagles are the first team with at least 20 losses to go dancing). UCLA was impressive in winning the Pac-10 tournament … and didn't even need their own personal Pauley Pavilion officiating crew to help them through. Memphis is clicking right now, after claiming its third straight Conference USA title. And whoever wins the highly-anticipated Big XII final between Kansas and Texas will enjoy top billing, conference supremacy and partial control of the free world (ok, not really on that last one).
Obviously, the loser of the Jayhawks-Longhorns battle in Kansas City settles for a No. 2 spot. Tennessee's loss to Arkansas in a near-empty Georgia Tech gymnasium is to thank for that Big XII champ getting a No. 1 seed.
Here's where I'm struggling: Duke has a nice body of work this season, but lost in the semifinals of a weakened ACC tournament (losing to UNC in the final would have been just fine for the Dukies). I won't hurt Georgetown too much for getting to the final in a tough Big East draw, but they were overly unimpressive this season. So why not Wisconsin for a No. 2 seed? The Badgers – and this is under the strict assumption they beat No. 10 seed Illinois today – have just four losses, won their conference tournament and are on a ten-game roll. I've got to give UW a second seed, I've just got to. My last 2, by the slimmest of margins, goes to Duke for its overall body of work.
I do feel for the Hoyas, who only have five losses this season and did win the Big East regular season crown. But if it were up to me, they'll get a favorable draw, and not get Tennessee or the Big XII runner-up in the Sweet 16.
Stanford's résumé is hurting with three losses in the last ten days, but they've been good losses (a pair to UCLA and another at USC), and are quietly developing into a dark horse title contender. Louisville lost to Pitt in the Big East quarters, but stands strong at a No. 3 seed. And for whatever reason, Xavier just can't figure out St. Joe's, but also can't fall too far.
The Fighting Irish benefit from a strong Big East conference. Speaking of the tourney out at the Garden, how about them Pittsburgh Panthers? VERY impressive wins over Cincinnati, Louisville, Marquette and G'town. UConn also doesn't fall too far after their tournament loss to TEAM. And don't forget about the Commodores, even with their disappointing quarterfinal loss to Arkansas at the SEC tournament.
Three Big East teams as No. 4s? Well, why not a trio of Big Ten squads as No. 5s? The "best" No. 5 goes to the Spartans, who got the furthest in the Big Ten tournament and have the best non-conference resume. Purdue and Indiana settle for No. 5s after shocking losses against Illinois and Minnesota. Speaking of the Hoosier State, the Bulldogs are a dangerous team masquerading as a No. 5 seed that technically shouldn't get out of the second round.
Gosh, what's with all these Big East teams? Well, Marquette did win at Wisconsin and got to the Big East semis. Clemson improved its stock with that win over Duke, and is clearly the best Atlantic Coast team other than the Big Two. Drake has fluctuated, but seems to have peaked early in the season. And BYU did go down against UNLV in the Mountain West tournament, but had won 15 of its last 16 since Jan. 15.
Washington State has had an up-and-down season, but isn't looking well with a 3-3 mark since Feb. 23. Mississippi State tied for the second-best mark in the SEC, but had an ugly non-conference slate with losses at Southern Illinois, Miami (Ohio) and South Alabama. USC has a ton of potential, with O.J. Mayo starting to heat up. Finally, Gonzaga had an eight-game winning streak snapped in the WCC finals against San Diego.
Texas A&M, if playing to ability, could be a tricky second-round opponent for, say, Memphis or Kansas/Texas. West Virginia's 14-point win over Pittsburgh on Mar. 3 looks really, really good right now. Oklahoma has been a quietly solid team over in the Big XII. And Arkansas has a fabulous opportunity in today's SEC final against a gassed Georgia team (heroic as that story has been, might I add) to give themselves a nice seed.
Twelfth Seeds (Last Four In): Baylor, Villanova, Virginia Tech, Ohio State Baylor? Losing to Colorado? You should be lucky I'm letting you in this party. That's deplorable. Villanova gives the Big East eight teams in this dance … maybe the conference should just become the NBA's Eastern Conference so pro fans can see some better basketball. Virginia Tech's Seth Greenberg offered an impassioned plea to the selection committee to take his Hokies, and I think they'll grant his wish. And somehow, the Buckeyes will make it in the draw, thanks to that late win over Purdue that helped the Badgers clinch an outright Big Ten title.
Illinois State hasn't impressed me enough … well, their résumé hasn't (I won't admit to have watched a single Illinois State or the ability to name a single Redbird) … to make the field. New Mexico also is a mid-range team in a smaller conference. Arizona State can take its 5-10 record since Jan. 19 and cry all the way to the NIT. UMass has got to do better than that in the Atlantic 10 conference.
Joe Lunardi says VCU and Dayton are too far out, so I'll go with that. Syracuse watches the tournament for yet another year. And Minnesota is probably not even this close to the field, but I applaud Tubby Smith's effort this year. Look for the Gophers to make an impact next year.