The NCAA Tournament selection committee has spoken and have decided that the â€œbody of workâ€ of the Virginia Tech Hokies is not worthy of an attempt at one shining moment. Donâ€™t expect me to provide any expert insight as to why or how the Hokies were snubbed or what criteria was used in the snubbing, because I, like most everyone else, donâ€™t have a clue.
Weâ€™ve heard it all. RPI is not a factor, but then sometimes it is, but only in cases to eliminate teams from consideration. The last ten games are a factor, but not really if you had some good wins in a high school gym in Maui or Puerto Rico back in November, but struggled down the stretch. To me, the most laughable thing I heard from head committee bozo Tom Oâ€™Connor, after the field was unveiled, was that conference affiliation was never looked at. What?!? Come again?!? So, there is no difference in the ACC and the CAA? Or the MEAC for that matter? Seriously buddy, câ€™mon now, whatâ€™s more important than that? Uniform color, best dancing mascot, or hottest dance team? Pressed by CBSâ€™ Billy Packer as to how in the world the conference with the #1 ranked RPI, the ACC, could only get four bids Oâ€™Connor confusingly mentioned that the criteria discussed above is what was used by the committee to select the participants, but then again, not always, but sometimes though.
Along with the Hokies, arizona state seemed to get the most sympathy after losing out on a bid to a team it beat twice, arizona. I agree that sucks, but how about this though, NEITHER ‘zona team should be in. The sun devils, along with oregon for that matter finished at .500 in the Pac-10 while the â€™cats were 8-10 in conference. And this, my friends, includes TWO automatic wins against the lowly oregon state beavers, a spectacular 0-18 in conference, and 6-25 overall. Iâ€™ll argue that the last place team in the ACC, n.c. state is capable, on a given night, of knocking off the best team in the Pac-10, powerhouse ucla.
There has been a lot of talk recently, led by Bob Knight on ESPN and coaches like Jim Boeheim, of expanding the tournament from 65 to 128. That seems pretty ridiculous to me, but how about thisâ€¦ Tonight there is a play-in game, errr..â€opening roundâ€ game between mt. st. maryâ€™s and coppin state, playing for the right to get lambasted by unc. Why just one play-in game? Why not add three more play in games, thus allowing three more deserving teams into the big dance. Usually there are no more than three teams who have legitimate claims of being unfairly left out.
Teams that under the current format are 15 and 16 seeds, would play, on the Tuesday before the normal Tournament begins, for the right to be the 16 seed and in turn play the #1 seed in the region. That way, teams from the less powerful conferences still have â€œa chanceâ€ and access to the National Championship, one of the things that make March Madness the great event that it is, and at the same time bring more teams in the Dance, better allowing the best teams to determine a true National Championship.
For the record, the Ballaâ€™s final four picks this year: unc, memphis, georgetown, and ucla, with unc winning it all. My sleeper pick to watch: Davidson and sharp shooter Stephen Curry.