March Madness Madness
Pitt was ranked #16 in the country before they won three games in the Big East tournament, losing the final to Syracuse. Their RPI stands at #7. So can someone explain how they're a #5 seed? They played in the best, deepest conference in the country. OK, their non-conference schedule stunk, but with their ranking and RPI a #4 seed seemed to be the worst they could do. I don't get it.
But this is the NCAA, where logic and reason and sense are deliberately ignored by the suits. As always, there are bubble teams crying foul because they got booted in favor of teams far less deserving of a bid. Cinci, Missouri State, Michigan, and Florida State fans are no doubt ticked because the Flyboys of Air Force got a bid while they play in the NIT. There's no way to make every bubble team happy, but one thing I think the NCAA should do is change the format of the play-in game. Right now two small-conference teams (Hampton and Monmouth) have to play on Tuesday to see who gets slaughtered by Villanova. I think this is a total rip-off--you win your tournament, your fans storm the floor...and you might still not get into the Big Dance. That's ridiculous. Those teams ALREADY played their way in. If you're going to have a game like that, open it up to teams who still NEED to play their way in. Save a #13 seed and let Cincinnati play Air Force (or Missouri State) to get into the tournament. You give two bubble teams a chance to prove themselves and allow the Davids their tussle with Goliath. Save one spot for a big-conference school and another for a mid-or-below team and let's get it on. Who cares who wins the Monmouth-Hampton game? Even their fans have to look at it as a huge letdown. They wanted UConn or Duke. Wheras Cinci would be looking to prove that the selection committee doesn't know what the hell it's talking about.
Hmm...it does occur to me that you'd be exchanging a game with 2 teams already in the tournament for one where only one team is already in. The logistics can be worked out. I don't like the play-in game as it stands now. It's un-American.
The worst part of watching the NCAA Tournament are the billiyuns and billiyuns of promos CBS will run for its horrible shows. It looks like this year we're going to be bombarded with sports for Julia Louis-Dreyfus' bomb-in-waiting "The New Adventures of Old Christine". When you can't come up with a decent TITLE for a show what are the odds of it being any good? About the same as Southern beating Duke.
Its an unusual year, there are probably 15 teams with a realistic shot of winning the whole thing, and no dominant team you could see lording over anyone it faces. I thought about making UConn my shoo-in champ, but after watching them lose to Syracuse and mail it in too many times I'm not sure about them winning six games without a brain cramp. Duke? After watching them get steamrolled by Carolina I'm wary. Villanova? Four guard offense means you'd better hit from the perimeter, though I admit I think they can go all the way. I know nothing about Memphis. I think BC could win it all. So could Texas, even with the loss to Kansas. What about those Jayhawks and the other team in diapers, Carolina? How 'bout Iowa? Ohio State? Illinois? I think UCLA is a very, very good team. Hell, Pitt and WVU can beat anyone at any time. It's a wide-open tournament. I think I'm gonna do the 1/2 day thing Thursday and Friday and drink much beer and watch much basketball. Happy happy, joy joy.