Sunday, March 12, 2006

Early Bracket Thoughts

-I hope you enjoyed Pizza Parlor Madness. Honestly it was a labor of love. It got me to know some smaller schools and write some witty stuff every now and then. Not on every capsule I know, you can tell where the work got routine at some points. If you're curious Wikipedia was my source for all the University information. It is a great resource for bloggers looking for useful information. supplied most of the current team, schedule, and rosters. This site provided the tournament history information. And all pictures were done through Google Image Search. I recommend Google Image Searching "Kansas Basketball" there is a surprise on the first page.

-The problem is now is I have "Jay Bilas Syndrome" if you watched ESPN's Bracketology special you know what I mean. That program was the last thing I should've watched. On top of Jay Bilas' talking up every low seed, they had former Vermont coach Tom Brennan (who was a nice addition to the ESPN crew, not a quip a minute wit waxer like I think they hoped, but a little softer than most of their analysts) picking "This Year's Vermont" in every region, and he had teams I hadn't even considered winning their first round games. I'll figure it out by Thursday.

-The committee I think went out of their way to do two things 1)Avoid accusations of 'East Coast Bias'. This would explain the unexpected insertions of Air Force and Utah State. Perhaps Cincinnati and Michigan/Missouri State were more deserving but giving the Big East 9 bids and leaving teams like Air Force and Utah State out would have perturbed some commissioners in the Mountain Time Zone and 2) Reward small conference teams with good records without giving small conferences many more teams than they would get any other year. They were very careful with both the Missouri Valley and the Colonial.

-Jim Nantz and Billy Packer's badgering of the Committee Chair Craig Littlepage was embarrassing to Nantz, Packer and CBS. Littlepage has almost a thankless job that will always leave people pissed off. No one wants to hear a man who volunteers his time to a network to hopefully explain his reasoning being condescended to for not including enough ACC and Big Ten teams without any specific slighted teams being mentioned. Was Billy Packer really arguing for Florida State over Bradley? Or Michigan over George Mason? After the eggs those two teams laid this week? And to bring up past tournament history and not give Littlepage the last word was a disgrace. Seth Davis and Clark Kellogg did try to redeem the network at the end, however saying that the inclusion of "little guys" was good for college basketball.

-I think we need to stop and be grateful that we are debating the differences between the 45th and 46th best teams in college basketball having access to a National Championship neither will likely win and not the 2nd and 3rd best teams as we do in a certain other collegiate sport.

-The seedings were a little odd though, Gonzaga a 3 and Tennessee a 2 had me baffled. And this is the biggest Bruce Pearl fan out of any of you reading this.

-Good luck with your brackets! I honestly haven't even started mine. I should be able to write a First Round Preview Tuesday and Wednesday.

Oral Roberts is a very tough 16 seed


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