Congratulations to the Final Four

As college basketball has grown in popularity over the last 25 years, it seems to me that the attention given to the various success levels (Sweet 16, Elite 8, etc) has grown dramatically…and none have become more celebrated than the Final Four. So I would like to extend my congratulations to the last four teams standing…even though I didn’t get a single one of them in my bracket.

Here is a quick recap of the Final Four teams over the last five years:

Let’s start with a few quick observations from this table:

– Only one team has made a repeat trip to the Final Four.

– 19 different teams have made the Final Four over the last five years.

– Four different ACC teams have made the Final Four over the last five years.

So what’s my point?

Major college basketball is a national sport played out on a national stage. Almost “everyone� of significance recruits from all over the nation. And here’s the real kicker…While UNC and Duke are dominating Dick Vitale and NC State quite easily, these two schools have not been dominating college basketball.

Lee Fowler once said something to the effect that you could be a really good team and still rank behind UNC and Duke. While this is true, it ignores several other things:

– Duke and UNC are hardly the only teams that State has trouble with. State has an absolutely horrid record against teams ranked in the RPI Top-50.

– State’s losses over the last five years in the NCAA tournament didn’t come against Duke or UNC.

– Within the ACC, State not only has problems competing with UNC and Duke…it has problems competing against nearly any ACC team that is good enough to make the NCAA tournament. A 13-29 won-loss record over the last five years (and 1-4 this year) against NCAA tourney teams from the ACC is simply pitiful.

– A lot of other schools from all over the country have reached major milestones over the last five years…19 have Final Four appearances. Georgia Tech and Maryland have reached the Final Four. Wake Forest and Maryland have won the regular season championships. Anyone who uses Duke and UNC as an excuse for State’s lack of accomplishments is simply grasping for straws.

The credit for moving from the Les Robinson Invitational to the first weekend of the NCAA tournament does not belong to the WPC or the RBC Center. The problems with State’s basketball program are not located in Durham or Chapel Hill. The reponsibility for the men’s basketball program at NC State lies within it’s Athletic Department….both the good and the bad.

“Responsibility is a unique concept: it can only reside and inhere within a single individual. You may share it with others, but your portion is not diminished. You may delegate it, but it is still with you. You may disclaim it, but you cannot divest yourself of it. Even if you do not recognize it or admit its presence, you cannot escape it. If the responsibility is rightfully yours, no evasion, or ignorance or passing the blame can shift the burden to someone else. Unless you can point your finger at the man who is responsible when something goes wrong, then you have never had anyone really responsible.”
Admiral Hyman G. Rickover

About VaWolf82

Engineer living in Central Va. and senior curmudgeon amongst SFN authors One wife, two kids, one dog, four vehicles on insurance, and four phones on cell plan...looking forward to empty nest status. Graduated 1982

General NCS Basketball

29 Responses to Congratulations to the Final Four

  1. BJD95 03/26/2006 at 8:07 PM #

    George Mason can make short order of Michigan State, UNC, George Mason, and mighty UConn – all over 2 weekends. But that’s too much to ever expect NC State to accomplish? Because of K and Roy?

  2. VaWolf82 03/26/2006 at 8:11 PM #

    That’s a great point.

    However, I suspect that G. Mason’s win will be spun by the Sunshine Squad as reason to WTNY….because anything could happen.

  3. BJD95 03/26/2006 at 8:18 PM #

    “Anything can happen” if you MAKE it happen. It just doesn’t come to you by magic or luck or being patient. Plus, a team like George Mason is pretty much stuck with having to make a run from a double digit seed.

  4. Only One 03/26/2006 at 8:22 PM #

    well that’s what state will always have to do with the buffoon in command (ie. make a run from a double digit seed). we’re always a bubble team with herbie running things. Actually, with herb, it’s more like “herbie WALKING things”

  5. BJD95 03/26/2006 at 8:25 PM #

    Plus, what was Mason’s RPI? That’s not showing up in the chart. I suspect it was a good deal better than ours, despite the seeding parity.

  6. VaWolf82 03/26/2006 at 8:43 PM #

    GM’s RPI Rank was #26…which is the lowest of a Final Four team over the last five years.

    I originally had all of the team’s RPI rankings in the table….but decided to take them out at the last minute. I think that I have beaten the RPI enough for now.

  7. MurphNCSU 03/26/2006 at 10:41 PM #

    Just curious how many of the coaches of those 19 teams where in there first 5 years at that school. Also, how many of those coaches had been at their schools for 10 years or more but had not previously reached the the FF?

  8. class of '74 03/27/2006 at 6:29 AM #

    If you can’t beat top 50 teams with regularity you can’t expect to compete in the ACC or nationally. Herb can get us all of the bottom feeder wins he wants but until he can beat the top tier teams he will have problems with the majority of the fanbase.

    And once again the ACC was down this year and we did not step up. This was only the 2nd time in 25 years the ACC did not have anyone in the elite eight!
    Yet still we made no progress towards a regular season title or ACCT title.

  9. David 03/27/2006 at 6:36 AM #

    George who? – congrats to a fine team (wish I could say that to an NCSU team).
    The ACC was down this year, obviously. Well Herb?
    not a member of HSSS

  10. tampapack 03/27/2006 at 8:34 AM #

    I find it disturbing that GM was able to accomplish a number of things (beat UNC, make a final four, beat many RPI top 50 teams, etc., etc.) that our own team cannot do over a span of 5 years. We must be so fortunate to continue to retain our wonderful coach.

  11. Rick 03/27/2006 at 8:58 AM #

    “Anything can happen� if you MAKE it happen. It just doesn’t come to you by magic or luck or being patient

    That is not what the HSSSers think. They rely on hope and chance.

  12. Wuf62 03/27/2006 at 9:35 AM #

    You guys don’t get it. Herb told me that mathematical correlation doesn’t necessarily translate to causation.

  13. BJD95 03/27/2006 at 9:39 AM #

    I heard GM’s coach on ESPN this morning quoting William Jennings Bryan:

    “Destiny is not a matter of chance. It’s a matter of choice.”

    Larranga said he has been hammering that into his players’ heads all tournament long. Just make it happen.

    He also said something else that would resonate with us “unreasonable” State fans – that if you give it your very best effort and still fall short, you can live with that. But you have to make sure you do, in fact, take your very best shot.

  14. SaccoV 03/27/2006 at 10:34 AM #

    The funniest thing regarding the Sunshine Squad’s upcoming dismissal of George Mason’s Final Four as a “fluke” is the word fluke was the precise term used to regard our Sweet 16 appearance last year (or at least some people I talked to regarded it as a fluke). Either way, for our administration to in any way disregard George Mason’s accomplishments and NOT equate them to the aspirations the alumni and students have for our school, which is much larger and should honestly compete more frequently for a Final Four appearance and the like, is atrocious. It again proves our point that honestly competing against top teams in the country is NOT A TOP PRIORITY for our athletic administrators. Talk about a farce!

  15. jwrenn 03/27/2006 at 10:45 AM #

    From today’s N&O: “The SEC has two teams in the Final Four for the first time since 1996 when Kentucky and Mississippi State did it, and it now marks eight straight years that at least two teams from the same conference have reached the Final Four. The last time it didn’t happen was 1998 when Kentucky, Stanford, North Carolina and Utah were the last four standing.”

    It seems that having a very good team in your conference may actually be GOOD for the other teams and help spur them on to success. So using Duke & UNC as excuses for failures seems contrary to the facts. Them being so close should be an excuse for SUCCESS.

  16. joe 03/27/2006 at 11:27 AM #

    that means Roy is making it to the Final 4 pretty consistantly (Kansas + UNC)

  17. VaWolf82 03/27/2006 at 11:35 AM #

    I noticed that as well. I didn’t know of anywhere to quickly look up the coaches of the various schools. I was wondering if anyone else had taken two different schools to the Final Four.

  18. beowolf 03/27/2006 at 11:37 AM #

    *having a very good team in your conference may actually be GOOD for the other teams and help spur them on to success.*

    No, no, no, no, no, NO! That may have been the case for the ACC from 1954 to the 1990s, but it’s no longer the case.

    OK, so it probably is the case. But it can’t be good for you to have a very good team close by, let alone two. There have to be limits to the good that competition and challenges can do for you. It’s better to measure success one cupcake at a time.

  19. Jon Smith 03/27/2006 at 11:42 AM #

    Rick Pitino took Providence and Kentucky to the final 4. (in 87 and 96)

  20. Rick 03/27/2006 at 11:47 AM #

    Some people think you improve by playing teams that are better than you. Others use that as an excuse to fail.

  21. Mr O 03/27/2006 at 1:44 PM #

    So who thinks George Mason will ever reach a Final Four again?

  22. site admin 03/27/2006 at 2:07 PM #

    Who thinks that NC State will ever reach a Final Four again (based on current adminstration)?

  23. Mr O 03/27/2006 at 3:26 PM #

    site admin: The point of my question is that it is most certainly a fluke that GM made it this year. The percentages for most schools to make the Final Four are so small each year that you can make a case that it is a fluke for about any team except for the top 5 programs in the country.

    Realistically, we may never make a Final Four with any administration or basketball coach based on odds.

  24. Rick 03/27/2006 at 4:04 PM #

    “Realistically, we may never make a Final Four with any administration or basketball coach based on odds.”

    Realistically, a coach that does not make that his goal has an even smaller chance of getting their.

  25. VaWolf82 03/27/2006 at 4:15 PM #

    There are at least two levels of discussions going on.
    1) Making the Final Four.
    2) Having a team good enough to have any kind of reasonable shot at a Final Four.

    Skip Prosser has not come anywhere close to a Final Four at WF. But in 2003 and 2005 he had teams that were good enough that the fans could at least hope for a deep run in the NCAAT. Is this good enough?….well not really, but it is still better than Herb has managed.

    Herb has never had a team where anyone could even hope for a Final Four. The 2004 team was statistically his best….and it was tanking before the NCAAT even started.

    In case you missed the thread on PP….as predited, one of the Sunshine Squad used the line of argument that if George Mason could reach a Final Four, that somehow proved that Herb could. However, I was surprised that there was only one delusional poster speaking up.

Leave a Reply