Monday, March 14, 2011
Just Another Selection Sunday
This is my 500th post on my new site. Never thought it would coincide with the 2011 NCAA Tournament Selection Sunday. I wrote last April that expanding to 68 teams would end or at least weaken the Bubble Talk of "who should have been in" or "who should be out". Well as I said with my "Sunday Sausage Links and Selection Sunday Thoughts", I was so wrong on that. And then came the bracket announcements last evening, and I didn't even realize how wrong I was. Wow. I think the Bangles "Manic Monday" is only fitting reviewing yesterday's bracket announcement (plus Susanna Hoffs is gorgeous). So let's talk about the bracket announcements.
The Good - #3Bids4CAA came true as VCU got an at-large bid, a first round play in game vs. USC. The Rams got rewarded for their neutral site win vs. UCLA, the road win vs. ODU and the CAA Tournament semifinal win vs. George Mason, along with their conference record. Had they not blown a 12 point lead with 5 minutes left at UAB, there would be none of the fuss about the Rams you heard today from the so called experts on College Gameday.
On the five year anniversary of when the CAA should have had three bids in 2006, this committee did the right thing and rewarded VCU for its good conference record and the non conference win over UCLA. And yes, the win at Wichita State in the BracketBuster game definitely helped (Wichita State received a NIT bid).
The Bad - The seedings were just downright terrible. Texas had been in the Top 10 for most of the year and they get a #4 seed while Florida got a #2 seed? Richmond won the A-10 tournament, beat Temple, beat Purdue neutral site, beat VCU and got a #12 seed? Georgia, who everyone had as a bubble team was given a #10 seed? Michigan an #8 seed? Seriously?
How the holy hell is ODU a #9 seed (and they have to play Butler to boot)?! ODU beat Xavier, Richmond, Clemson, won the CAA Tournament and has a RPI of 20. That's unconscionable.
The I Don't Know - I thought Colorado had made the tournament. Yes, their best non conference win was a home win over Colorado State and their non conference SOS was bad. But they beat Kansas State (three times), Texas and Missouri in conference. They got to their tournament semi final legitimately (unlike another team that got left out). The problem for the Buffaloes was the RPI was 66, the non conference SOS was 331 (which is 2009-10 Virginia Techesque) and they were only .500 in conference with losses to Oklahoma, Iowa State and Nebraska. Had they finished above .500 in conference and/or had beaten Harvard or won at Georgia, they would be in. Still, shocked they were left out.
I didn't think UAB was going to be in. A bubble team should never ever lose in its quarterfinals, especially when you are the #1 seed in your conference. Plus UAB's best non conference win was a home win over VCU, only because of the aforementioned blown lead by the Rams. I guess the committee rewarded them for winning Conference USA.
What it came down to is that the committee rewarded some teams like USC and VCU for good non conference wins and UAB for winning Conference USA. And the committee punished teams like Colorado and Virginia Tech for weak non conference schedules and mediocre conference records. Plus, I guess the Westin Wise Men wanted to see how much they could upset the College Gameday folks like Digger Phelps, Hubert Davis and Jay Bilas. Mission accomplished, guys.
So on the positive side, the committee rewarded the mid majors, especially the CAA. On the negative side, the seedings were just wacked. Ah, just another Selection Sunday.
Oh and don't feel bad Virginia Tech, Boston College, Alabama and Colorado fans. You each got a #1 seed in the NIT. Yes that lovely tournament run by C.M. Newton and the boys. Talk about wacked seeding. Harvard beat Colorado and won at Boston College. They got a #6 seed. C.M. was interviewed on the ESPNU NIT Selection Show and said they spent a lot of time deciding the #1 seeds. Well after seeing Harvard get a #6 seed, I don't think they spent enough time. And oh yeah, the CAA didn't get any NIT bids. They had to settle for three CBI bids.
Selection Sunday is over. Time for the First Four. NCAA Tournament March Madness begins Tuesday. Can't wait.