The Field is set.....

Discussion in 'Sports' started by TomVols, Mar 14, 2010.

  1. TomVols

    TomVols
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    ....and as usual, some glaring head scratchers.

    Florida, a 10 seed?
    Tenn, a 6?
    Louisville is in?
    Cornell is a 12 (could make a case they're higher).

    URI, Miss St, and Illinois are left out.

    8 teams from the Big East and Big 12 get in. 4 I think from the MWC.
    Here's a good year where an 80 team field makes sense. You have 8 teams or so with 20+ wins who have a decent argument.

    What are your thoughts?
     
  2. ccrobinson

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    I haven't watched much college basketball this year, so I have to listen and trust the guys who do. Every single analyst says this is a weak field of 65. I don't see what adding more teams does other than make for more bad basketball that's no fun to watch.

    Tom, my brother in Christ, what do you have against me that makes you want to make me watch bad basketball? :laugh:

    Seriously, why are we trying to kill the goose that lays the golden eggs? The NCAA Tournament is good. Adding more teams doesn't make it better. Why do we need more teams?
     
  3. Andy T.

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    Like cc, I watch little college hoops. I am a novice. For those more informed, does the relatively weak 65 teams this year make it more likely we will see less chalk this year and more upsets?
     
  4. puros_bran

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    It's all moot anyway.. Just give the title to Calipari's Cats and forgo a bunch of heart ache for the other 64 teams. :smilewinkgrin:
     
  5. Rubato 1

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    On Wisconsin!
     
  6. TomVols

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    Good points.

    1. Why is this field weak? These same analysts say:
    - that UK has as good a FR class as any in recent memory;
    - that Kansas is loaded for a run;
    - that the 2 seeds are as strong as ever, with each of them able to win it all;
    - That the Big East and ACC are almost as strong as ever with the exception being NC and LOU being off (but Lou is in);
    - That the Big 12 surprised many with 7 teams

    I know it's bandied about. But I've yet to hear substantive proof that this field is "weak." Is it that, or has parity finally caught up with the one and done rule combined with scholarship limitations? One side of the mouths of analysts says "the field is weak," yet the other side say we have some of the best collective teams (KU, UK, Ohio St, etc., along with some of the best midmajors (Utah St, New Mexico St, Cornell) than we've seen in some time. It doesn't make sense.

    Sure, no one is going to run away with it. Which means this should be fun.

    As for expansion, I just can't fathom that a conference division winner (Miss St) is sent to the NIT while Minn and others go in. It defies logic. And ESPN's list of "bubble" teams is longer this year than ever. 22-24 wins don't get you a ticket to the dance?

    They say NCAA doesn't want to reward mediocrity. Well, .500 conf teams go. And 6-6 is good enough to get you to a bowl game. Sorry, the NCAA already rewards it. It's just selective in who it rewards.

    So I may not be as warm for expansion as I once was but I still think that anything that would get rid of CBK and the NIT, which are meaningless, would be a good thing.

    Why kill the goose? Dunno. Ask NASCAR's France family. they're experts at it. :laugh:
     
  7. ccrobinson

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    Is there an organization that gives their fans more of what they don't want and less of what they want than the NCAA? In college football, fans want a playoff, but the NCAA is all "Oh no, that would never work." In college basketball, fans don't want more teams, but the NCAA is all "Oh yes, we must have more teams."

    Also, where's the outcry from the NCAA about protecting the student-athlete when it comes to basketball? By adding more teams to the tournament, they would be adding more games, which would mean less time in the classroom. It's funny how the NCAA has nothing to say about the student-athlete when it comes to more college basketball games, but they're all about the student-athlete when it comes to college football.

    Is there any organization that's more hypocritical than the NCAA?
     
  8. ccrobinson

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    Conference division winner? You've gotta be kidding me. Just because a conference gets so big that they arbitrarily create a division doesn't mean anything. I don't know what criteria the committee used in going with Minnesota over Mississippi State, and I'm not interested in arguing who should be there and who shouldn't, but the division winner argument is rather weak.

    Number of wins should not be the criteria for getting in either. Teams can schedule all kinds of non-conference cupcakes to get themselves to that magical 20 wins. You start expanding the tournament and the regular season becomes less important than it already is. By having a 64 team tournament, these teams have to schedule tougher non-conference opponents.

    BTW, speaking of the regular season and expanding the tournament, the NCAA's hypocrisy shows yet again in how they're fighting so hard to protect the sanctity of the football regular season, but couldn't care less about protecting the basketball regular season.
     
  9. TomVols

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    No, and I've made this argument for years. College baseball teams miss more class than basketball and football teams combined.

    Size isn't the issue. The SEC is a power conference. Your division winner ran its gauntlet, and by all accounts had two games stolen by zebras against the second best team in the country. While the RPI wasn't the best in the world, I believe some teams got in with worse and I know that worse records got in. So when you have better records, better RPI, and won your division, what the heck else do you have to do?
    Then what do you use as criteria if record doesn't matter?
    That doesn't work and that's been proven, so I'd be hard pressed to say anyone does this. Almost half of the NIT field has at least 22 wins. 20 wins doesn't assure you of anything.
    I don't think the regular season is meaningless. It virtually decides the seeding without the postseason getting involved. How else do you explain SYR getting a #1, Miss St getting left out, and LOU and FLA getting higher seeds (or invitations at all)? It's ironic you say the regular season is meaningless - that's the lynchpin argument for tourney expansion :laugh:

    And the 65 team field doesn't make many have tougher schedules. 7 teams have RPIs of 50 or more - and that's just the at-large teams. Almost half the at large bids had RPIs of 40 or more.

    You do have one point re: NCAAF reg season vs NCAAB - consistency. NCAAF has stricter regulations, where the NCAAB lets its members get away with murder in terms of additional games. The laughable restriction against exhibitions against non-academic entities is a joke, and just another way to spread NCAA money around.

    Ironically, that was the idea of this thread :) The pros and cons of expansion (economically as well) was something I brought up in another thread.
     
  10. ccrobinson

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    I'm pretty sure I didn't say record doesn't matter. What I tried to say was that merely having a certain number of wins shouldn't guarantee you an invite.

    You're not implying that having a certain number of wins is the criteria for being in the tournament, are you? Because that's what it sounds like.

    It is? How's that? What do those in favor of expansion think teams are going to do? Schedule tougher games? The only reason teams schedule tough non-conference games is because they know they have to if they want in the tournament. If the criteria to get in isn't as tough, where's the motivation to schedule the tough non-conference games?

    The argument against Miss. State appears to be that they played a weaker schedule than others. But, I'm not saying there isn't an argument to be made for Miss. State. I'm saying that a conference division winner isn't a solid argument. If you want to argue records, RPI and such, have at it.

    I've decided what I'm going to do about the tournament expansion deal. In a few years, after it's been shown that TPTB have messed up a good thing by needlessly expanding the tournament, I'm going to have the ultimate satisfaction by saying, "I told you so." :wavey:
     
  11. KenH

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    What does "CBK" stand for?
     
  12. TomVols

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    You can't seperate the two. Obviously, a quality record (which by definition includes a number of victories) over quality opponents should be a factor. The Selection Committee alludes to it, as do the pundits. So the victory mark isn't as meaningless as you describe, right or wrong. It plays in when it fits, so it seems.
    I think the data demonstrates that you can play a weak schedule and get in, especially if you're in a favored conference. Those who favor large scale expansion argue that the regular season is dressing for the big dance, that it decides nothing, and that March ultimately matters above all. I say hogwash, but year after year these folks are not exactly silenced by the data. We haven't even talked about the triple digit RPI among the automatic qualifiers.

    And remember: you can find similar records and RPI in the NIT as you can among the ALs of the dance. So then, what does the committee use as its criteria? It obviously isn't consistently record or consistently SOS/RPI.

    I don't think that it's the lynchpin argument. I do think a 23 win team in a power conference who's a division champ of that conference and played for its tourney championship (and got robbed of the same) and whose RPI was somewhat typical of the ALs belongs in the field of 65. Is there really 34 better teams than Miss St once the AQs are in?
    Do we really have a good thing here? I love March Madness. But it needs tweaking. Let's be clear...the NCAA tournament is not a national championship tournament. Not even close. If it is, then answer me this: are the 65 teams in the tourney the 65 best teams in NCAA div I ball? If you say yes, I would ask that you just say no to drugs. If you say no, then how can we say it's anything other than a staged vestige of years gone by? Don't get me wrong: I love it, but I've accepted it for what it is, just like the bowl system in NCAAF. The stories of the backroom subplots to seeding matchups are legion. That doesn't happen when you're seeding the 65 best teams based on record and SOS. Not every other line in the pod. No way.

    The only thing in this world that can prize staid traditionalism more than a Baptist church is the NCAA.

    You can argue that the expansion from 48 to 64 (and then more) has opened the door here, along with more conferences, but I wonder if something more isn't at play. See below.
    The tourney that takes the teams not going to the NIT. Not sure if it's being played this year or not. I just haven't kept up. Heard rumors that it was going away (it should) but since it makes money for the participants since all games are on a home team site...well, you figure it out.

    We haven't broached the $=expansion? question in the other forum.

    I'll be watching and doing my brackets, and I love March and the Madness. But to say it's the best we can do just doesn't hold water with me.
     
  13. TomVols

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    #13 TomVols, Mar 16, 2010
    Last edited by a moderator: Mar 16, 2010
  14. ccrobinson

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    Now you're being silly. What else would you call a tournament with teams from across the nation?

    If you're trying to crown the best team in the nation, then dispense with the single-elimination tournament. Make it double-elimination. Make it an NBA style tournament. Eliminate the small conference automatic bids and put all the big schools in their own tournament.


    You love it, but it's not a good thing? What am I missing?


    I don't agree that adding more teams makes it better.
     
  15. TomVols

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    Two other tournaments go on at the same time that crown a champion. Why aren't they the national champion? I don't deny some silliness here, but I'm using it to illustrate an assumed absurdity. The staid traditionalism that isn't very traditional upon reflection becomes a new dogma. It's so until it's changed. It's now considered anathema to change from the 65 man field when these same folks who now defend the status quo abhorred the idea of expansion when we had a 48 team field. And so it goes....

    So you're wanting to (GASP) change the tournament? Sacrilige! :laugh:

    You love NASCAR, but you'd like to improve it. I love it like I love the Reds. Not good, but it's the best I've got. I love the bowl system, but it's not the best we can do. I love the baseball HOF but it needs to be burned to the ground and start all over. In short, I can enjoy what we have and long for it to be better all at once.

    We could add. We could subtract. There are many options (as you highlight above) that could make things better possibly. I disagree with your options for many reasons. Makes for good theater the way it is. And that's what the NCAA wants. And as I said in the other forum, if the money dictates that better theater is 80 or 96 teams, guess what we'll have next year? We have 129 teams in the post season in basketball right now. Why shouldn't we cut that down to just the NCAA?

    (that sound you heard, friend, was a new can of worms being opened). :tongue3:
     
    #15 TomVols, Mar 16, 2010
    Last edited by a moderator: Mar 16, 2010
  16. TomVols

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    I'll lay my cards on the table. I'd like to see some more consistency in the invitation system. I don't like the idea of doing away with automatic bids. This really would make the regular season obsolete (because if your shot at the dance ends in January, why bother with February and March?).

    It's true you're never going to please everyone. But some good teams end up in the NIT. I have a hard time saying that the NIT champ is the 66th best team in America. I also have a hard time watching someone win a tourney and treat it like a holiday tourney.

    I don't want to see Vermont and Rider and the like stay home. I also don't want good teams get shafted either and get the NIT as a consolation prize. I totally disagree with the notion of a 128 team field. But 72, 80, 96 even.....You still have to play for something and the tongue-waggers still get to talk about who got shafted. Realistically, what we have isn't perfect but I'll take it. It's not about perfect. But I do disagree with those who defend the status quo at all costs.

    I have always believed the minute we went to 65 teams, we opened the door for expansion. What the NCAA said clearly was this: we will please our big boy AL teams and give the wink/nod to the AQs, and if we have to do it under the guise of a play in....err, opening round...so be it. Think about it: if the NCAA liked what we have, why didn't they eliminate one AL team? That means MINN or FLA is out this year. Would that destroy the empire? No. But you don't incur the wrath of the power conferences. They have too much power and money now. So we have what we have.

    And as such, as I have said before, the money will forever, going forward, drive the bus. If the boo-yah boys want 128 teams, that's what we'll get.
     
  17. ccrobinson

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    Is Mississippi State good? Is Illinois good? Does one game of taking Kentucky and Ohio State, respectively, to OT in the conference tournament make them a good team? What's the criteria for saying these are good teams? I hear people who live and breathe college basketball tell me these are average teams, at best. Now, you're telling me these teams are good.

    So, it turns out that you don't really want the tournament to have the best 65 teams. :tongue3:

    But, what's wrong with the status quo in this case? Are we just debating in order to debate? The status quo isn't always bad, is it? We're having a debate over whether mediocre teams like Miss. State and Illinois deserve to be in the tournament or not, when a) it's fairly likely neither team would win a single game (especially the Illini who are notorious for first-round flameouts) and b) both teams had their chances to win and weren't good enough to win enough.
     
  18. TomVols

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    1. Those games are not (and should not be) the lynchpins for their inclusion, and I've never made it that way. Is Miss St good? Only one way to find out. Look at their body of work and see. I would argue that they have a body of work similar to (at least) or better than (at best) teams that were selected AL. So why were they eliminated from contention? People who live and breathe CBB say they should be in just as some say they should not. (Incidentally, I think Ill shouldn't be in).

    We never will, thanks to staid, hackneyed traditionalism of the NCAA. So I can enjoy what we have. No reason not to. It's entertaining. But that's what it is - entertainment, and a money-grab for the NCAA...er, I mean, a national championship tournament :laugh:

    Do I really have to go back and argue it all, all over again? To sum: it's marketed as one thing and popularized as another. Nothing wrong with something being popular, but this year as much as any proved what it is.

    1. We assume they're mediocore. Why? It's like when they say a conference is having a down year. That's a slam on the conference, so when you say a team is a conference winner, well, they just won a weak conference or was the X team in that conference. But when you want to praise that same conference, you call that conference tough and the winner or X team surivived a brutal gauntlet. Same evidence, same data, just a different spin. Happens in both CFB and CBB.
    2. How do you know they wouldn't win a game? Like George Mason wouldn't? Like Davidson?
    3. Both teams did have chances to win other games. But would they have been enough, when other teams did the same thing and were included?
    4. Good enough to win "enough"? Wait...you derided the concept of "enough" earlier. Now you're arguing for it? :tongue3:
    5. I don't have a problem with status quo as such. Remember, I said we have something not perfect, but good. But no one is defending the tourney on merits or substantively answering questions about the framework. It's just "Why change it?" I'm asking "Why is this the best we can do?" and that always gets me in trouble :smilewinkgrin:

    Ironically, we're utterly off topic. I wanted us to talk about who got shafted and surprises. The thread that was designed to talk about the framework for the tournament hasn't been touched, I don't think.
     
  19. ccrobinson

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    No, you don't. Sorry.

    Anyway, I think we've pretty well debated this one as much as we can. Anything more on this side and we're just continuing to repeat ourselves.

    BTW, who's your horse? I picked Kentucky in the Baptistboard group, but Kansas in a couple of other ones I'm in.
     
  20. TomVols

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    I appreciate the back and forth with you friend.

    I'm in a couple of brackets. I have Ohio State in one bracket right now and leaning towards Kentucky in another. (I like the Bucks and Cats to meet either way).

    Since you asked...I think everyone has issues. Kentucky can't shoot well from outside and they've used up all their luck. Kansas is experienced but for some reason, just beatable (from a team with balance). Syracuse has slumped and the injury could hurt them. Duke just hasn't been overwhelming and has inside issues. 'Nova was my pick a month ago as Scottie Reynolds is just a beast, but now I wonder if they can get to the round of 16 especially against a team as hot as Richmond. Texas could make a run and beat everyone, but at times they couldn't beat you and me. Cornell, UTEP and Murray State could go deep because they all have good balance of inside presence and guard play (the Racers have 6 guys averaging ten points per contest). Another team to watch? Xavier. I know, I know...I used to live a mile from the campus, but this team has great balance and has flown under the radar screen. Very talented. But a rookie coach isn't an asset in the tournament unless your name is Steve Fisher. Also, watch out for the New Mexico teams. Both UNM and State can play.

    This is the greatest part of this tournament: good teams get intersectional matchups and a chance to pull off history.

    This should be fun. I have the next two days off, and I plan to be bleary eyed come Monday :) I hope it's not from tears as my Vols do their best Jekyll and Hyde impression.
     

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