Monday, March 17, 2008


According to Jay Bilas of ESPN when there is a representative of the ACC on the NCAA tournament selection committee, the ACC gets more teams invited to the Big Dance. This year while the Big East landed nine teams, the ACC has but four. Maybe, he's on to something?

Virginia Tech, who finished fourth in the conference with the highest RPI and beat fifth place Miami in the ACC tournament, is out. Most ESPN analyst agreed they were a tournament team. They came within about 4 seconds of beating both Clemson and North Carolina in their last two games.

Miami, who finished fifth, but had a signature win against Duke, is in. The variable might be the 20-win mark – 9th place in the Big East Villanova had 20 wins while the Hokies only have 19.

As bad as the now #1 seed in the NIT Hokies may be feeling consider the plight of Arizona State. The Committee seems to waver on the value of RPI and the strength of schedule (which is an RPI number). Arizona State had a better PAC 10 conference record than Arizona. As Bobby Knight said, they played them twice and the Sun Devils won all 80 minutes. Arizona in. Arizona State out.

Why? Well, according to the chair of the selection committee, because of their RPI and strength of schedule. Meanwhile, Dayton who is #32 in the country in RPI is not dancing.

Does the RPI make any sense? Kentucky goes to Vanderbilt and loses by 41 points and the Wildcats RPI goes up 8 points. You decide.

The solution according to Tech Coach Greenberg and K1 is to expand the first round. The gripe seems to be the 31 automatic bids for the tournament winners may not alwasy be representative of the top 64 teams in the nation. Greenberg pointed out that there were “8,000 some bowl games” so why not increase the experience for the kids?

Knight took it a step further and suggested that the top 128 teams be rated and the tournament be expanded by one round. The highest 64 teams would host the other 64 in home games on the higher-seeds’ campus. That way the best teams would surely have a chance to play-in.

We think K1 is on to something.

(Maryland and Florida State are also in the NIT, and for the first time since the year after Bird and Magic played for the National Championship, the two finalist from the year prior – Florida and Ohio State – did not make the field.)

(Photos by Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images)

1 comment:

  1. Actually, I think the Big East only has 8 teams because Syracuse sucked too much to get in. But the fact is: the Big East is a superior conference to the ACC. Coach Knight (the great Coach Knight mentor to the gread Coach K) said so tonight. The Big East is the toughest, deepest conference in the country. Where else would historical powers like SU SJU and GU ebb and flow like they do. The problem with the ACC is they are dominated by the two Raliegh area teams and no one can dislodge them. BORING.

    UNC will win it all. Hanzbooger is a beast.


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