Tuck: NBA Playoffs Should Re-Seed Like NHL And NFL

The Miami Heat certainly are wishing that was the case today.  Or at least I think they would have liked that.  The NBA should adopt what the NHL does in it’s Stanley Cup Playoffs and re-seed the teams after the first round of the playoffs.

Oddly, the St. Louis Blues probably wish it wasn’t the case, as the #2 seed got the #8 seed LA Kings, and were quickly swept out of the way.  These Kings however, are like nothing we’ve seen before.  They dismantled the team with the best record in hockey, the Vancouver Canucks in 5 games, swept the Blues, and are up 3-0 on the #3 seed Phoenix Coyotes.

But typically, if you are the higher seed, you’d love to have the most favorable match-up come your way as the playoffs advance.

In the case of the NBA, the Heat would have played the #8 seed 76ers, leaving the #3 seed Pacers to play the #4 seed Celtics.  Boston shouldn’t be worthy of an advantage just because of how the bracket played out.  And the Pacers should have home-court as the second best team remaining.  And the NBA, like the NHL, has the advantage of not needing to worry  about travel schedules or other ventures in re-seeding.  You simply tell one team to play another team.

The NFL does this as well, on a more simple scale.  After the wild-card round, the lowest remaining winner plays the top seed in that conference.  Very easy.

There has been discussion of re-seeding in the NCAA tournament.  Clearly you couldn’t do it after the first round.  You could do it after the second round if you so chose, but it would destroy the concept of “bracket pools” if you did.  So that will never, ever happen.  You could re-seed the Final Four though, and that is a discussion that was had before the concept of full-seeding (1-68) was introduced to create a design that if all four #1 seeds made it to the Final Four then 1 would play 4 and 2 would play 3.

Of course all four #1 seeds have only advanced to one Final Four in tournament history, so that doesn’t really solve anything.  It would mess with brackets somewhat, but would likely create a better championship game.

Some examples like #1 seed Kentucky facing #1 seed UMass in a semi-final while #4 seed Syracuse battled #5 seed Mississippi State turn people off.  More recently it might have created more buzz had #3 seed UConn played #11 seed VCU and #4 seed Kentucky played #8 seed Butler, instead of the higher seeds playing each other and the lower seeds playing each other.  It also would have been more fair to the top teams.

As for the college football playoffs…moving along.

Re-seeding of course carries no promises or guarantees.  Upsets happen.  But it would be such a simple fix for the NBA.  Last year in the West after the #8 seed Grizzlies upset San Antonio, the #4 seed Thunder got home-court in a second round series while second-seeded Lakers played #3 seed Dallas.  I feel like LA should have got to play the lowest-seeded team remaining and feel equally as adamant that the Mavs should have had a home-court series against OKC.  It’s just the fairest way to do things.

The NHL and NFL got it right.