On Basketball Tournament Time

Many conferences have their conference tournaments this weekend with the winner getting the automatic bid to the NCAA tournament – the Road to the Final Four. Of course we fans we eagerly anticipate Sunday’s tournament selection show, which means picking those brackets will dominate a lot of time. Meanwhile, here are some random thoughts.

I’m not a big fan of the conference tournaments, but like much of college sports, it’s all about the revenue.

There are currently 347 D1 college basketball teams, yet only 65 (18.7%) will move on. Personally, I think the number of teams should be expanded.

While I’m on opinions, and I know this would create havoc for the bracket polls, instead of set brackets I prefer matching top seeds and lower seeds in every round.

My undergraduate degree is from Bowling Green, a team that hasn’t been to the tournament is 1968. Of the teams that have been D1 since 1968, only 13 other schools have as long (or longer) dry spells than my beloved Falcons. Thanks to the Falcon Blog for this information.

  • Columbia: Last appeared in 1968
  • Tennessee Tech: Last appeared in 1963
  • Yale: Last appeared in 1962
  • Maine: D1 since 1962
  • New Hampshire: D1 since 1962
  • Centenary (La.): D1 since 1960
  • Dartmouth: Last appeared in 1959
  • Harvard: Last appeared in 1946
  • Army: D1 since 1948
  • Citadel: D1 since 1948
  • Northwestern: D1 since 1948
  • St. Francis (N.Y.): D1 since 1948
  • William & Mary: D1 since 1948

BGSU, the top seed in this year’s MAC tournament, lost last night in the conference semi-finals. Oh well – the streak continues. They probably get an NIT bid and play on the road at one of the power-conference schools.

My Cincinnati Bearcats are a mere shell of what once was. Although they laid a large egg down the stretch, they aren’t ready for the dance anyway. I’ll keep my eye in hometown rival Xavier, but they must play better to be a factor.

I lived the UCLA dynasty of the 1960s-70s, and I don’t think I’ll ever see that kind of domination ever again.

Who do I think will win this year? I don’t know as UC’s fall is one reason I don’t know as much about the teams as in the past. North Carolina and Duke seem to be the leading contenders, but this has been a topsy-turvy year. Meanwhile, I’ll watch and hope for a Cinderella.

10 thoughts on “On Basketball Tournament Time

    • 3rd Stone,
      I know what you’re saying, and MLB is a prime example. However, one more round would take one more day. Play the goes on Tuesday (as the current “play in game” .. heck, and even give a certain number of seeds a bye into the weekend.

      Oh well, unless the BCS, at least college basketball produces a legit champion. Thanks for the comment.


  1. That’s a surprisingly list of teams to go that long without making the tournament.

    North Carolina lost today, but they still get a No. 1 because other teams like Oklahoma, Kansas, Pitt, and UConn lost who were all in the running for a top seed.

    Louisville is playing great basketball as is Memphis. Michigan State can never be counted out either.

    Tough to say who the favorite is, but I can’t wait for Selection Sunday!

    Nice post!


    • David,
      I knew you would like the list. At least this year, I’m not sure how much the conference tournaments will affects the top seeds. Louisville is poised to have a good chance.

      Thanks for the thoughts!


  2. Frank – I have no idea who will win but I know that I haven’t been sleeping much!

    I love this time of the year – college basketball, NBA, golf — GLORIOUS!!!

    Enjoy the ride!


    • Paulette,
      This is a good time of year for sports. Besides what you mentioned, I’d toss spring training into the mix for its anticipation of the season ahead.

      I’m watching the selection show as I type … L’ville the top seed and they’ve shown the bracket for the first region. With Arizona getting in, sure wonder if Kentucky will some how get in … which would be very, very sad in my mind.

      Thanks for the comment.


  3. Amazing list, Great research
    I thought overall they did a good job,
    But I am a Mid-Major guy and thought that
    (San Diego State, Creighton and St Mary’s) got jobbed and
    I would have bounced
    (Wisconsin, Maryland and Arizona) out.


    • Larry,
      I’m a mid-major guy too. Since the big boys dominate the dollars, the only way to get more mid-majors in is to expand the field … and that’s possible.

      Personally, if you can’t finish above 500 in the conference, you can’t get in … well, unless you win the tourney … at least that’s a starting point.

      Thanks Larry!


  4. I agree with you 100%. I would say that the Regular season Champs and Conference Tourny Champ should get in, Then I would say make 4 play in games but I would put in the (at-large) teams from the Big conferences in those games and seed them between the 11th through 13 slot.


    • Larry … your proposal is “a way” and vailid. Mid-majors get so little respect. Interestingly, some a complaining about SD State. Well, the Azetecs did have a great record, but they didn’t win their regular season nor their tournament … I can see them still out of the 64.

      My Bowling Green Falcons won the regular season, but not the tournament. Given their body of work, I say out.

      On the other hand, the BG women time drew the short straw. What … two years removed from the final 8 … 28-4 …. 28 of the last 30, including 25 in a row … RPI of 39-to-44 but lost in the conference finals …. and have a weak strength of schedule. They should be in.

      Oh well … at least college basketball isn’t even close to the BCS mess.

      Thanks Larry for your ideas.


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