ESPN’s Page 2 is running an interesting feature – “The Greatest College Hoops Tournament” where the supposed All-Time best of 32 different schools are matched in a fantasy hoops match-ups.
Unfortunately for us, the #10 Michigan Wolverines is predicted to wax #23 NC State in both predictions.
The Blue and Gold give the partisan crowd reasons to go bucknoodles, as they dominate the game in every facet possible. NC State doesn’t lie down quietly, though. David Thompson plays like a man being exorcised, screaming after every bucket, “The devil made me do it.” No one, not even Steve Fisher’s diamond-and-one zone can stop him. Monroe, Whittenberg and Gugliotta contribute, but it’s not nearly enough. Thompson (who finishes with his number, 44), can’t do it alone, but he tried.
This burns me up in so many different ways that I don’t know where to begin. Random thoughts:
* A look at Scoop and friends’ focus becomes obvious when the seeding of teams is investigated. Putting LSU and Georgetown at #3 & #4 and the University of Houston at #6 (not to mention Duke & Kentucky at #9 & #11) highlights that Scoop’s focus is to apply what players did AFTER their college careers in the NBA to the composition of the teams. It feels some kind of dirty to soil the college game, especially the purity of a tournament format, with the selfishness and growing irrelevance of professional basketball.
* ^ If you want to emphasize professional careers so heavily, then why is Derek Whittenburg even on the team? and why isn’t Nate McMillan & Vinny Del Negro included?
* Seeded #23. Wow. NC State is seeded #23 in HISTORY despite having given up basketball for almost the last 15 years!? On one hand, this kind of respect is flattering; on the other hand, it is so painful to see where we have fallen in recent years.
* You didn’t like my “giving up basketball for the last 15 years” comment? Before you get too pissy about it, why don’t you share with us how many of the players on NC State’s all-time squad have been recruited over the last 15 years? Cat got your tongue? For comparison/contrast, check and see how many other squads originate from that exact same time frame?
* How much does “recent success” count to the rest of the world’s perspective of programs? Take a quick look at almost all of the names and realize how much we have fallen behind the rest of the country in the last decade and a half. For an extreme example, UConn checks in 8 spots ahead of NC State at #15 with an ENTIRE squad of players recruited over the last 15 years. Anyone want to tell us about how UConn’s facilities, tradition, and fan support dwarf those of NC State? How about all of that pre-1990 tradition upon which they had to build? Exactly how did they do it?
* No direct offense to old “Scoop” Jackson….but, how much legitimacy exists for an all-time team that omits one of the members of the ACC’s 50th Anniversary Team and the NCAA’s all-time assist leader at the end of his career? I don’t think that Chris Corchiani is the greatest point-guard of all time, but I also don’t think that these teams would only play with 7 players.