Epic Carnival | Where Sports and Pop Culture Collide: WHAT IF THE NBA HAD A MARCH MADNESS TOURNAMENT?


by HP, Hardwood Paroxysm

So the NCAA ratings are slipping, and the NBA ratings are going through the roof. There's still going to be a stigma against the NBA from your average basketball fan. Why? It lacks the intrigue, the intensity, the madness that is the NCAA tournament.

Which got me thinking.

What would it look like if you took the 30 NBA teams, slotted in two more from somewhere, and set up a bracket, based on how a selection committee is likely to vote right at this moment in the NBA? Join me after the jump for the NBA March Madness Tournament.

Ladies and Gentlemen, I give you... the bracket. Click for a larger image.

Some selection notes:

  • I took the four teams that I thought most hardcore NBA fans would say are most likely to win the NBA championship this season and assigned them #1 teams. Hence, Celtics, Pistons, Lakers, Spurs, even given the recent problems of the Spurs. They're approaching "over the hill" status, but aren't there yet. Believe me, I wanted to put the Rockets in as a 1 seed as much as you probably do. But I couldn't justify it, when compared to the stiff competition. They did receive a 2 seed as consolation, though, for the streak.
  • The NBA provided 30 teams. I needed two more. Now my impulse was to take UCLA and Memphis, but that's not really fair, since I'd have to put them in at least at 6 seeds, because God knows they're better than the Knicks. So, being the D-League geek I am, I decided to have two play-in games between four of the top Developmental League teams. These teams also have the most NBA talent, so it's approximate. Think of how crazy that would be for the small market, or "Mid-Major" D-League teams from Dakota or Boise to have a team in the NBA tournament! Yeah, I'm obsessed. I'll admit it.
  • The Magic were either going to be the last 2 seed or the first 3 seed. I just couldn't put them over the Suns or Jazz. They did end up in a relatively easy region, though.
  • Detroit has a pretty rough draw, but at least it's got homecourt for a majority of their tournament. Similar deal with San Antonio, who's got a monster advantage after the first round, with games in Houston and then San Antonio for the finals if they make it (pfft... yeah, right). Only fitting, being the champs and all.
And some notes on the actual tournament...
  • Man, the Western Region is stacked. A possible scrapfest if the Defenders win with LA's own D-League team facing them in the first round. Uh-oh. Wonder if that's going to be a conflict...like it would matter. Toronto faces Carter and the Nets (like that?) again, and then a monster second round with the Hornets most likely taking on Dallas for the right to face LA.
  • Cavs versus Rockets in the second round is just plain brutal, as is Magic-Jazz.
  • As far as upsets go, you have to look at Chicago over Portland, Kings over Wizards, depending on injuries, and Sixers versus Nuggets.
  • At first glance, I gotta say, my final four is Boston, Detroit, Houston, New Orleans. I'm tempted to say LA, but if the Hornets get on a streak, they're more likely to ride the momentum, I think. Seven game series I might change my mind, but that's why this would be so fascinating.
In case you were wondering, I didn't consider strength of schedule at all in this, nor quality wins. If someone wants to do that analysis, go for it! I just thought this would be a fun theoretical exercise. Aaaaand how.

4 comment(s):

frank said...


The Heat probably deserve a play-in game though. And I'm only 13% kidding.

TeamPriapism said...

Yeah those pesky "playoffs" are nothing like a tournament and have no entertainment value, or intensity, at all.

Warner said...

This is a terrific idea, which means the NBA will completely disregard it.

Anonymous said...

Not a bad idea at all. I really like it, it could work. One thing I can't agree with is the fact that the PISTONS got the hardest bracket of all the #1 seeds (though you did say you didn't bother with strength of schedule at all in this, nor quality wins) Boston I feel is being rewarded a bit too much for being the overall #1 seed, I mean come on a D-league team and then the Blazers or the Bulls!!! Though I sort of feel that the Spurs have it even easier, with the Heat and then either the Kings or the Wizards (who might not even have Agent 0 at all this season now). As for the final four I would have to agree that it would probably be Boston and my PISTONS for the left side of the bracket, and then on the right God doesn't even know who will make it, Though I could see the Rockets pulling it out over a lost Spurs team, and a Lakers vs. Hornets or Lakers vs. Mavs wouldn't be bad to watch either! One thing I can't agree with is where the finals are!!!! I personally think that the of the two teams that are in the finals that the team with the better record gets home court advantage.

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