Blog Entry

My NCAA tournament thoughts going into regionals

Posted on: March 21, 2011 11:22 am
Edited on: March 21, 2011 3:32 pm
Stay strong, Jay Bilas . It's not the fact that Virginia Commonwealth is in the Sweet 16, people. The fact remains that VCU didn't deserve to be in the bracket in the first place. Colorado could have gone in place of the Rams and also gone to the Sweet 16. Tell me Missouri State wouldn't have had a shot with the right matchup. 

It's a separate argument -- 1) Did VCU deserve to be in the bracket? No. 2) Does winning in the tournament justify that spot in the bracket? No. I can give you the name of five teams that could have gotten hot and won two games.

Big East flop. After the first round, the Big East was guaranteed at least two teams in the Sweet 16. That's all it got. For what is believed to be the first time in the seeding era, the selection committee knowingly made it possible for not one, but two games between conference foes in the second round. 

The committee long ago had to abandon the principle of conference rivals not being able to meet until the regional final. A 16-team Big East made the committee get rid of that principle for obvious reasons. But it was lazy that the committee didn't try to eliminate the possibility of Connecticut-Cincinnati and Marquette-Syracuse in the second round. That looks more like Big Monday than the NCAA tournament.

It wasn't fair to the Big East to have to eat its own so early in the bracket. It showed the committee didn't do its diligence. That being said, the fact that the Mountain West has as many teams in the Sweet 16 as the Big East (two) is embarrassing -- for the Big East.

Most entertaining regional? It isn't the Southwest where Kansas is surrounded by three mutts (Richmond, VCU and Florida State). I'll give you the Southeast with Butler still alive, again, going against the immovable force in Wisconsin. The Southeast also has Jimmer (Fredette) and Billy (Donovan).

But I'll take the West where I dare you to pick the best player in Anaheim. Is it Nolan Smith, Kyrie Irving, Derrick Williams, Kemba Walker or Kawhi Leonard? There are so many storylines at the Honda Center, my head is spinning. 

--San Diego State is expected to take over the Honda Center. The school is less than two hours from Anaheim. "The Show" almost blew the roof off the McKale Center last week. 

--Is it possible to have too many good players? Duke barely survived Michigan while trying to integrate Irving back in the lineup. That's a problem every other team would love to have. Also, if Coach K gets to the Final Four out of this regional, he will tie a certain Bobby Knight for the Division I record in career wins, 902. Go, Mike, go! 

--San Diego State fans were chanting "We want Kemba!" after beating Temple in the second round. Be careful what you wish for, Aztecs. I'll kind of answer my previous question: Walker might be the best player in the regional and maybe the country.

--Arizona's Derrick Williams comes back home to his native L.A. As of this moment, Williams is the most important and charismatic player in the tournament. (That's different than "best".) His block in the first round against Memphis preserved the win. His and-one late against Texas on Sunday was the difference. Think Williams will be a little energized going back home playing for a spot in the Final Four?

Easiest road to the Final Four: You kidding? It has to be Kansas. If it wins, it won't face a single-digit seed until the Final Four. On the one-year anniversary of losing to Northern Iowa in 2010, the Jayhawks destroyed an Illinois team Sunday that brought to mind an obvious question: How did VCU and Illinois get in the bracket?


Since: Aug 21, 2006
Posted on: March 25, 2011 8:37 pm

My NCAA tournament thoughts going into regionals

Sorry, but VCU actually won three games, and the fact is that the Rams absolutely deserved to be in the tournament.

Since: Mar 20, 2011
Posted on: March 22, 2011 3:33 pm

My NCAA tournament thoughts going into regionals

The championing of Colorado has become an embarrassment. Do the Buffs have lobbyists? They fattened up on wins pver Maryland Eastern Shore, Longwood, Western New Mexico, Alcorn St., Cal Bakersfield and The Citadel. There's not an impressive non-conference win to be found and a butt-kicking from Harvard. They're the ultimate home-court heroes.  If they hadn't found a patsy in Kansas St., they wouldn't even be in this conversation. By the way, the Big 12 should be sending a thank-you lettter to the Big East: all the attention on the latter conference's Big Dance underperformance has diverted attention from the bust the Big 12 has been. Richmond, VA. has more teams in the Sweet 16 than the Big 12 does. 

Since: Mar 21, 2011
Posted on: March 21, 2011 3:41 pm

My NCAA tournament thoughts going into regionals

What has VCU achieved?

Won 3 tournament games, not 2, in 5 days this past week. Each win was over a BCS conference program: beat co-11th seed USC (play-in) by 13. Then beat sixth seed Georgetown by 18. Yesterday beat #3 seed Purdue by 18. Three double-digit wins in those circumstances is impressive.

Guess that doesn't hold for people still hung up on the selection decisions. That was over early last week. Performance of the bubble teams selected to the NCAA or playing  in the NIT is the relevant followup story.

VCU, once given the opportunity, surprised the basketball world. Conventional wisdom would predict that George Mason would be the CAA team to advance. They've done it before, though not when playing the no. 1, no. 1 team in their second game. Mason may be out, VCU isn't. The CAA is 3-2 so far with expectations to end at 3-3. Not a sure thing with VCU.

What is as remarkable is two teams from the same city are in the SW16: Richmond and VCU from Richmond, Va.

Since: Feb 8, 2008
Posted on: March 21, 2011 3:31 pm

My NCAA tournament thoughts going into regionals

After what happened yesterday, what's your point?

Since: Dec 10, 2006
Posted on: March 21, 2011 3:10 pm

My NCAA tournament thoughts going into regionals

I would definately want to cool down if i was the aztek fans,not so sure they REALLY want Kemba!!....Kemba good,REAL GOOD!!!

Since: Feb 2, 2009
Posted on: March 21, 2011 11:55 am

My NCAA tournament thoughts going into regionals

cant wait for one of teams knock out kansas. you know its gonna happen.. crazy ish this year in the month of march

Since: Mar 21, 2011
Posted on: March 21, 2011 11:38 am

My NCAA tournament thoughts going into regionals

Wasn't Illinois a 9 seed?

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