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View Full Version : Anyone have a hanky for Whitless


redbrian
03-20-2006, 06:42 PM
Nothing sadder than a big fat man sitting in the corner blubbering.

Emphasis on NCAAs is madnessJASON WHITLOCK

I’m sorry. It’s Christmas time for college basketball fans, and I’m the only hoops fan screaming “Bah, humbug.” The whole overemphasis of the NCAA Tournament has me down. I just can’t let it go.

It’s popular to say that college football can be immensely improved by jazzing up the end of the season with a tournament. Well, let me be the first to say that college basketball can be immensely improved by strengthening the ties between the regular season and the postseason.

You follow?

College basketball isn’t perfect. In fact, as each year passes and Dick Vitale and Co. spends more and more time hyping March Madness rather than the regular season, college basketball moves closer to becoming the Jr. NBA circuit. There’s no reason to pay attention until the playoffs.

I have a suggestion that would return some of the focus back to the regular season without remotely damaging the NCAA Tournament.

The NCAA selection committee should enact the following rules:

1. To be considered for a No. 1 seed, a team must win and/or tie for its regular-season conference championship;

2. To be considered for a No. 2 seed, a team must win and/or tie for its regular-season conference championship or win its conference’s postseason tournament.

The top eight seeds in the tournament would be determined by teams’ performances in their conferences. This year that would have meant an undeserving Tennessee squad would not have been eligible to receive a No. 2 seed. In 2005, Wake Forest would have lost its No. 2 seed, and top seeds Duke and Washington would have dropped to the No. 2 line.

These changes are necessary because the de-emphasis of the conference season is only going to get worse if the NCAA doesn’t make some move. Conference tournament winners Kansas, Iowa and Syracuse all lost first-round NCAA Tournament games. The popular belief is all three teams were hurt by making extended runs in their conference tournaments.

Next year it wouldn’t surprise me if a smart coach — Bill Self — rested some of his regulars in the conference tournament. College players are not used to playing three games in three days or four games in four days (as Syracuse did). It’s difficult to recover from that and turn back around and play a talented Missouri Valley foe that has been resting for 12 days.

Bradley’s last game before the NCAAs was on March 5. Kansas’ last game before meeting the Braves was on March 12. Leading up to the tournament, the Northwestern State team that knocked off Iowa played three games in six days. Iowa, of course, played three games in three days.

Look, there’s no use fighting the system. It’s too late to turn back. The NCAA Tournament is all that seems to matter to fans, coaches and players, so we might as well do something to connect the regular season more closely to the postseason. Let’s give the conference championships some additional significance by making them a prerequisite for high tournament seedings.

Getting a top-two seed is all that matters in the NCAAs.

“If you’re not a one or two seed, the difference between the teams is minimal,” Self observed after his fourth-seeded Jayhawks lost to No. 13-seed Bradley.

Being one of the top eight seeds gives you a distinct advantage heading into the tournament. The 15 and 16 seeds are usually pretty substandard. All the other teams in the tournament are a threat.

My problem with college basketball now is that no one talks about the conference races anymore. Vitale, Jay Bilas, Digger Phelps, Billy Packer and all the other influential TV talkers analyze the tournament seedings beginning in December.

It’s unhealthy for college basketball. It makes the regular season irrelevant. It puts pressure on coaches to focus all of their attention on the end of the season. They get virtually no credit for doing a good job during the conference season. And they get way too much credit for getting lucky at the end of the year.

Bradley’s Jim Les looks like a great coach now, having won two games in the NCAA Tournament. I’m trying to figure out how he finished tied for fifth in the Missouri Valley with the team he has.

Ultra Peanut
03-20-2006, 06:49 PM
Being one of the top eight seeds gives you a distinct advantage heading into the tournament. And how do you become a top eight seed? That's right, YOU DO VERY WELL IN THE REGULAR SEASON. If you shit up your regular season and get dumped with a #7 seed and a tough draw, that's usually your own damn fault.

Sure, sometimes teams are unfairly rewarded now and then (hello there, UTK), but that problem fixed itself, did it not?

And if no one cares about conference season anymore, then why is everyone bitching us out for something we can't control (being stuck in a league with three other solid teams and a bunch of underachieving turds)?

redbrian
03-20-2006, 06:58 PM
And how do you become a top eight seed? That's right, YOU DO VERY WELL IN THE REGULAR SEASON. If you shit up your regular season and get dumped with a #7 seed and a tough draw, that's usually your own damn fault.

Sure, sometimes teams are unfairly rewarded now and then (hello there, UTK), but that problem fixed itself, did it not?

And if no one cares about conference season anymore, then why is everyone bitching us out for something we can't control (being stuck in a league with three other solid teams and a bunch of underachieving turds)?

There is a slight twist to whitless’s logic here is their not.

Bradly got to where it is because it played a lot tougher schedule (during the season) than most if not all of the big 12 teams.