Wouldn’t the ’72 team squash ’em all?
Part of CBS’ recognition of the 75 years of the NCAA men’s basketball championship is setting up a mythical 74-team bracket — from the 1939 Oregon Ducks to the 2012 Kentucky Wildcats. And including all 11 UCLA title teams in between.
“The Ultimate Bracket” takes up two hours of CBS Sports Network cable channel programming on Saturday (4-to-6 p.m.). Greg Gumbel is joined by Clark Kellogg, Seth Davis, Mateen Cleaves, Wally Szcerbiak and CBSSports.com college basketball columnist Gary Parrish.
A computer was used to simulate each game — 50,000 times — factoring in each team’s average margin of victory, pace-adjusted team and player stats and strength-of-schedule.
To get to the final field of 64 teams, there are 10 play-in games, one of them including the 1975 UCLA team facing the ’74 NC State squad. The winner gets the ’72 Bruins, who are the top seed in the West bracket.
The ’48 Kentucky Wildcats are the top seed in the South, with Bill Russell’s 1956 University of San Francisco team No. 1 in the Midwest and the ’63 Loyola of Chicago team the top seed in the East.
Eight UCLA teams are various seeds in the West, meaning there are first round match ups of 8-9 seeds (’73 team vs. ’69 team), 5-12 matchups (’67 team vs. ’71 team) and a 4-13 fight (’68 team vs. ’70 team).
The ’65 Bruins are the 12th seed in the East and face the ’60 Ohio State team. The winner could get the ’64 Bruins, should they beat ’61 Cincinnati. The ’95 Bruins are the sixth seed in the Midwest and face the 2000 Michigan State team in the first round.
UPDATE: ESPN.com has its own version of ranking the participating teams … and gives the No. 1 overall nod to the ’68 Bruins instead of the ’72 version.