It’s great that we are guaranteed a top four seed next week. It obviously helps because you only have to win three games instead of four, but there is another reason that I haven’t seen anyone mention.
If you are the five seed, you have to play on Thursday against the winner of the 12 vs. 13 matchup. So you are forced to play a game against one of the worst teams in the league with terrible computer numbers. It’s a game that does nothing to help your tournament resume if you win, but would do serious damage if you lose (and the team you are playing is playing as if there’s no tomorrow because their season is over if they lose).
This is exactly what happened to us in 2014. We were the five seed and were right on the bubble and when we got upset by the 12 seed, it crushed any hopes we had of making it. Luckily, this year we don’t have to worry about that scenario. With the double bye we should get an opponent with decent computer numbers (or if they get upset and we have to play a 12 or 13 seed, at least it will be their third game in three days). Anyway, that’s just one more reason why it is really good that we don’t have to play until Friday.