With Selection Sunday at hand, several coaches have used the 11th hour to campaign for their particular team or conference in regards to NCAA Tournament seeding and selection.
Louisville coach Rick Pitino stated his case for a No. 1 seed after the Cardinals won the American title Saturday night, but Duke coach Mike Krzyzewski actually went to bat for NC State, and the ACC in general, after defeating the Wolfpack in the semifinals of the ACC tournament.
I said to [N.C. State coach Mark Gottfried] at the end of the game, "I hope you guys get in." I don't understand it. They won at Tennessee. They probably should have beaten Syracuse twice. I think they've played a really good schedule, and they've got one of the best players in the country. ... I'll get in trouble probably for saying it. Like the Atlantic 10, they're a really good conference. I hear people saying there are six teams in there. Come on.
I mean, they're good, but put them in our conference and go through the meat grinder that our conference has to go through. But really ... our league should get more respect. The fact that Pitt comes in here and people are saying they have to do something, come on. Come on, man. I don't get it. The Clemson team we played last night is a heck of a basketball team.
As it stands right now, Jerry Palm has six Atlantic 10 teams in the field of 68 and NC State, representing a potential sixth bid for the ACC, falling short of an at-large bid. The ACC and A-10 are ranked No. 5 and No. 6, respectively, in the conference RPI but the separation (.5577 and .5567) is negligible.
Krzyzewski pointed out several of the highlights from NC State's tournament resume, but politicking can only go so far in a selection process that has become much more transparent in recent years. An Atlantic 10 team may have recorded a different record in the ACC, but the committee spends more time looking at good wins and bad losses than determining neutral court hypotheticals.