On Sunday night, it was amusing to watch the Jay Bilas, Dick Vitale, and others up in arms over on how VCU (Virginia Commonwealth University) and UAB (Univ. of Alabama-Birmingham) was selected over Virginia Tech and Colorado for the NCAA Division I-A men’s basketball tournament.
But, with all of that in mind, does it really matter now? The field will be set after tonight’s final two “play-in” games in Dayton (Alabama St. vs. UTSA, USC vs. VCU). Oh, and let’s not pretend that this is a “first-round” game. It’s a “play-in” game: 4 small conference champs and 4 “bubble” teams. And those teams won’t make it past the weekend.
Let’s also get this out of the way as well: the NCAA tournament committee has been and will always be criticized for not putting in the “right” teams in the field. This morning, after sleeping on it for the past two days, I came to a conclusion…
…there is no such thing as a “perfect” tournament. That’s the beauty of March Madness. Not everyone will get in and not everyone will deserve to get in.
It is hysterical to hear Bob Knight and Dick Vitale obsessively continue to advocate “expanding” the NCAA tournament from 68 to 96 teams. In Knight’s case, he thinks 128 teams should play in March Madness.
Don’t they know that out of 338 men’s hoop programs in D-1, 41% of them are playing in post-season tournaments? NCAA, NIT, CBI (College Basketball Invitational), and the CIT (College Insider Tournament). Four tournaments, 140 teams.
Technically speaking, that’s 12 more teams that what Knight, Gary Williams, and others were asking for!
This is akin to giving everyone a damn trophy. Despite a 16-17 record, Oregon is playing in the CBI. I wonder why Jay Bilas isn’t squawking about that?
What a joke.
Clemson routed UAB Tuesday night and everyone said UAB should have not been in the tournament. Harvard, who “deserved” to be in, lost to Oklahoma State in the NIT. They canceled each other out. If both teams swapped places, the result would have probably been the same.
So, is it really worth to continue whining about it? No. As Knight famously said “…might as well sit back and enjoy it (the tournament).”