Saturday, March 10, 2007

Daily Bubble Talk (Saturday)

  • This will be updated throughout the day. Newer posts will appear on top.

  • Boston College does not deserve an at-large bid?!?!?!!?! The last game Sean Williams played was January 16 vs Miami. He is not coming back. So BC should be evaluated on how they did after Sean Williams was ejected. Since then, they were 5-6 in the ACC, 1-1 in the ACC tourney and 1-0 in OOC games (home vs Hartford). Home: 3-2 (+Hartford win), Away: 2-4, Neutral: 1-1. At home, they beat Florida State, Virginia Tech and Clemson, while on the road they beat Miami and Florida State. Their six losses were two at home (Duke, Carolina) and four on the road (Duke, Clemson, Virginia Tech, Georgia Tech). In the ACC tourney they beat Miami in overtime, and lost to Carolina. So they split with Virginia Tech and Clemson, swept Florida State and lost to NC (2x), Duke (2x), and Georgia Tech. Thus they are 1-4 against NCAA locks, and 4-2 against the bubble, and 3-0 against no-post-season teams. Subjectively they look like an NIT team to me, regardless of how much Dick Vitale praises them. With the bubble squeezing, I can think of a handful of more deserving teams for the last few remaining at-large spots.

  • MAJOR SQUEEZE of the NIT Bubble!: Three more (regular season conference champions) lost today in their conference tourney so that qualifies them for an automatic NIT bid. This brings the automatic NIT bids up to 8, and significantly shrinks the NIT at-large pool, now down to 24. Just two years ago the NIT bubble was 40 teams, so that's major shrinkage. The "BCS" teams that took the NIT for granted will now have to really earn it. Two more conference tourney finals remain that could result in an automatic NIT bid (Big West tonight and Southland tomorrow). More coverage at NIT Central

  • On the NCAA front, into the Big Dance goes Miami of Ohio (heartbreaker for the Akron LeBrons), while hope lives for King Sidney "Leonidas" Lowe and his 300 WolfPack as they move on the ACC Final tomorrow on ESPN. Is Engin Atsur this year's Gerry McNanamara?

  • Instant Update: A miraculous three-pointer gives Miami of Ohio the win over the Akron LeBrons! However, the zebras are reviewing the last few seconds to make sure there were no timing errors...

  • Quick Hitters: Bilas was throwing diva-fits when Lunardi dared to make a case for mid-majors to get some at-large bids. Is Bilas funded by the "BCS" Basketball Conference Lobby?... Speaking for the need for full disclosure, Doris Burke's husband is the Rhode Island AD... Dick Vitale was suggesting that South Florida should hire Pete Gillen... Bob Huggins on ESPN: "the only one of your analysts with any insight on your network is Digger". On a totally unrelated note Digger Phelps has always had Kansas State "IN" even before they blew out Texas Tech... If the other North Carolina players played with 50% the intensity of Psycho-T, Carolina would have been unbeatable... Speaking of which, Bobby Frasor twice almost let Boston College back in the game. Perhaps Q Thomas needs to become the backup point and Frasor move into a combo-guard position (part of it being his earlier injuries perhaps)...

  • Reader Comments/Questions:
    1) Anonymous reader said: "Lodrick Stewart is fat"
    2) The SEC deserves more than four bids and my response to that.
    3) Question: Why do they show the MEAC tourney on ESPN Classic? Answer: Because the other two ESPN channels are busy with the Big 12/ACC semifinals and the finals of the A-10 and MWC. Also the SWAC final is on ESPNU. Too many games, not enough channels for ESPN, that's why!

  • Bracketology Critique: Creating False Expectations: Every year the brackets are projected assuming no one steals a bid. When fans see the projections of the last four in, they may think that they are in, but they are not because bid stealers and "bcs" winning-streakers (a BCS team that wins 3 games and loses in the conference tourney final, piling up enough quality wins to leapfrog the other bubble teams) are not factored in. Every year there are bid-stealers (this year: A-10 and WAC so far) or "bcs" winning-streakers. So the last-four-in should really be treated as the last-four-out and the next-to-last four in are really the last four in. What do y'all think? :-)

  • Recruiting: Rosters of the various high-school all-stars games has been announced. They feature OJ Mayo, Kevin Love, Eric Gordon, Derrick Gordon, Michael Beasley and many more. Details and links at Recruiting Wars

  • Bonus NCAA games for cable/satellite TV subscribers!: CSTV is planning to show an additional NCAA college basketball game on Thursday and Friday (according to published TV schedules). More details as they become available...

  • Daylight Saving Time alert: Time changes at 2am Sunday.

  • The sixth automatic NIT bid was given a few minutes ago to Vermont as they lost the America East conference title to Albany. Tom Brennan is probably crying in the ESPN studios.

  • Candidates for automatic NIT bids: If they lose in their conference tourney games today/tomorrow, and assuming they won't get an NCAA at-large bid, these teams will then receive an automatic NIT bid: Long Beach State (Big West), Delaware State (MEAC), Texas A&M Corpus Cristi (Southland), Mississippi Valley State (SWAC).

  • Dirty Karl: Coby Karl, NBAer's George Karl's son committed a dangerously hard foul on a New Mexico State player that caused TV coach Reggie Theus to get so upset that he stormed the court. So you see I'm not just picking on Duke :-) Memo to the NCAA: It is time to clean up play and keep basketball basketball, not wrestling or football or kickboxing. It's very simple really: Suspend a player for 3-5 games, suspend a coach for 3-5 games, and no one will commit dirty fouls :-) Preferably do it on a high-profile coach, not on a team from the SWAC or the MEAC, that way everyone will take notice.

  • Storming the Court is the topic of Sunday's Outside the Lines with Bob Ley on ESPN. It profiles the story of Jay Kay who got stomped by a storming the court crowd in Arizona a couple of years ago. It airs on Sunday at 630am PT/930am ET (watch out for the early DST time change if you are planning to record it).
  • New Nike Uniforms Record: 3-2
  • Interesting resume comparisons at ESPN's College Gamenight: Kentucky vs Missouri State, and Virginia vs Appalachian State. Also of interest they pointed how similarly the last two Utah State-Nevada games ended, with the same score 79-77 and Spicer hitting the last two free throws.
  • It's a small world: Levon Kendall blocked a shot, the ball went into the crowd and hit Aaron Gray's mom in the face/nose. Ouch!

    Pink Slip Madness: As expected South Florida's Robert McCullum was let go. South Florida is a very tough situation basketball-wise, I'm not sure what they are expecting. They are a mid-level Conference USA baketball program (at best) and the only reason they are in the Big East is because they needed another football team.

    Pac-10 tourney Notes
  • The X-MO (slower slow motion) proved a handy feature during the Pac-10 tourney coverage on FSN
  • Washington State continues to show different faces/line-ups which can be very confusing to new opponents. Wild Bracket Pick suggestion: Final Four
  • The Pac-10, FSN and the Staples Center have announced an extension of their deal to continue to host the Pac-10 conference tourney there until 2012.
  • Ben Howland's mom made some comments on Paul Westphal's comments and created a non-issue issue that was quasi-mentioned during the broadcast.
  • What is CBS thinking? They are sending Bob Wenzel to do the Pac-10 final game. That's just silly. Why don't they pick someone who actually does Pac-10 games on a regular basis? Bob Wenzel usually does ESPN+ games (eg Big East), and the Basketball Weekly show on Comcast Sports South. Similarly ACC homer Dan Bonner is doing the Memphis game!

  • TV listings are below

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