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.

They’ve Earned It Rankings

Week 1 is over and the time has come for one of the most unique rankings in the country. Maybe the only top 10 in the country without LSU, Georgia, Ohio State, or Oklahoma, the They’ve Earned It bottom line is simple: who played and who won. Consider the following.

– Last year doesn’t count
– Nor does the year before that
– Nor any other year
– Traditions don’t count
– Expectations don’t count
– Power Conference membership doesn’t count
– Band program doesn’t count
– Hosting ESPN Game Day doesn’t count
– Storied history doesn’t count
– Home attendance doesn’t count
– Number of times on TV doesn’t count
– National Anthem singers don’t count
– Number of alumni doesn’t count
– Famous mascots don’t count
– Fight and spirit songs don’t count
– Number of press passes doesn’t count
– Played in fabled game doesn’t count
– Hype doesn’t count
– Famous alumni don’t count
– Media market doesn’t count
– Bowl history doesn’t count
– Number of 5-star recruits doesn’t count
– Famous celebs in the stands don’t count
– Amount of school clothing sold doesn’t count
– Past legendary coaches don’t count
– Number of players in the NFL doesn’t count
– Loving or hating Notre Dame doesn’t count
– Preseason predictions don’t count

Personally, I’m tired of soft nonconference schedules, judgments based on expectations, and ranking on past performance. Loading up against the little guys won’t get support here.


They’ve Earned It Top 10 Countdown

10. Arkansas State
9. USC
8. Fresno State
7. Cal
6. Bowling Green
4. Utah
3. Missouri
2. East Carolina
1. Alabama

Many fans don’t get this because they believe rankings should be based on other erroneous factors. Next week’s ranking could be very different. Beating Tulane does not guarantee the Tide the top spot. As the season progresses, conference games will play a big factor, but for now, only week 1 counts.