Random NCAAT Thoughts

First of all, I agree with EPSN Radio’s Erik Kuselias in my hatred for the 64/65 play-in game. I agree that the little guys have earned the right to play in the tournament proper, and get their asses handed to them by the likes of Connecticut, Villanova, and Duke. But I also don’t want to reduce the overall number of at-large bids. What to do?

This expands on Kuselias’ idea for the “last two” at-large teams to play. I would make the #12 or 13 seed in each regional a play-in. You take the last 8 at-large teams under consideration for the last 4 bids, and let them fight it out on the court, live doubleheaders on ESPN and ESPN2. The games would be hard-fought, and very good for television. I’d certainly watch. And you could hardly feel bad for them playing the extra games, since it sure beats taking a coin-flip chance to land in the NIT.

My matchups would involve the 3 most deserving teams that didn’t get a bid this year (remember, my scenario bumps one team off the bubble, since both Monmouth and Hampton get “full” 16 seeds) – Cincinnati, Missouri State, and Florida State (plus Air Force, who was presumably the last team in). Match them up against the lowest seeded at-large teams – Bradley, Utah State, Texas A&M, and George Mason. You would have a few teams swap brackets to keep it even. But this would be lots more fun to watch, and more equitable, in my opinion.

Speaking of FSU and Maryland, here’s one angle I haven’t seen discussed yet. Were they the ancillary victims of NC State’s late swoon? Based on how the Pack has played, it’s hard to justify giving us more than a 9 or 10 seed. But you can’t drop NC State for FSU or Maryland – both of whom lost to NC State (FSU did so convincingly), finished worse in the conference, with fewer solid OOC wins (State beat both GW and Alabama). And major conferences don’t usually get multiple 9-12 seeds. The Terps and Noles are clearly worse than NC State, which wasn’t a problem when we looked like a 4-6 seed. But being worse than a team barely hanging on for a 10 seed? Next…

And this isn’t NCAAT-related, but still worth discussing. ESPN’s Mike and Mike talked with yet another Mike (Davis, lame duck Indiana coach) this morning. They went on about how Davis did right by his kids in finishing the season (unlike Quin Snyder), and Davis seemed at peace with the situation, noting that it was so much easier for the players to concentrate on the games without worrying about student/alumni protests, etc. What was odd about all of this? No mention of Indiana fans being “crazy” or “morons.” And this is a coach who has made a national final. Of course, Indiana basketball is one of those “country club elite” programs that the MSM allow to have high expectations for success.

About BJD95

1995 NC State graduate, sufferer of Les and MOC during my entire student tenure. An equal-opportunity objective critic and analyst of Wolfpack sports.

General Media NCS Basketball

19 Responses to Random NCAAT Thoughts

  1. Andy 03/15/2006 at 12:12 AM #


    Did everyone see herb’s face on the frontpage of espn.com. I mean how can you not say thats a face of passion.

  2. Andy 03/15/2006 at 12:13 AM #

    bah sorry for the bad link, it edited out the underscore after the u and after sendek

  3. Mike 03/15/2006 at 1:33 AM #

    Well done BJD. Davis is a nice guy who has done “well” at IU. However, this is not good enough for the Hoosiers. Why should IU expect to be an elite program? They should be happy to be mediocre; after all basketball is the only sport the school has had some history. They should be tickled pink to get into the NCAA Tourney every year.

    What all these moronic people dont understand is we are “improving” every year. All you guys have shown the numbers that we are not improving. Perception is we are improving b/c the media says that.

    The only way we are improving is because we play nobody. We got off to a great start this year playing Stetson, VMI, Delaware, App St, UNCG, UNCA, etc. We build up wins against inferior competition to pad the record and get Herb into the tourney. We dont schedule good teams because that might expose us as the FRAUD we are. Seton Hall killed us. Seton Hall at home???? Herb wrote it off as one game and not even a conference game so not a big deal. Dook played Texas, AT Memphis, AT Indiana (oh yeah, IU should settle for mediocre so that does not count). Dook struggled against Memphis and IU, but they are a better team because of it. I think we as a team have regressed, likely because we do not play anyone who forces us to learn and step up a notch. Even though we win these games, we struggle through most of them, with the margin of victory much less than other schools that play these teams.

    I would rather see us play reputable national teams and LOSE than to continue to pad the record aganst directional schools and local high schools that have an open date. When I was in school, we played Kansas, Oklahoma, Temple (when they were a power), and we would win. The cupcake games we would lose, but we would beat the good teams.

    I relate the win padding to scoring 20 points a game. I can score 20 a game if I shoot enough. I might take 30 shots and make 10, but heck, I am still averaging 20 points a game. 20 a game should get me to the NBA right? 20 wins gets me to the NCAA tourney, right?

    We are NC State. We have history and tradition. There is NO reason we should not be in the same sentence as UNC and Duke. Any coach worth having would love the chance to come here and compete. Our fans are crazy, good crazy, thanks Avie. Any coach would want to come here for our tradition, our fans, and yes, the chance to compete with our neighbors. Golfers dont not enter a golf tournament becasue Tiger is entered. Golfers enter because they want to beat Tiger. Calipari, Montgomery, Barnes want to beat the best.

    Mediocrity is not acceptable, not here and not at Indiana. Hey speaking of which, how about Knight? The program will be clean, kids will graduate, and we might get a technical or two.

    Finally, I cant remember the guys name who said this, but I think he has ties to NCState. He said “dont give up, dont ever give up.” If we accept mediocrity like admin wants us to, we are giving up.

  4. class of '74 03/15/2006 at 6:47 AM #

    Actually if our OOC SOS over the past 5 years had been in the top 25 to 50 rather than over 200 as it has been, we would not still have the Herb problem IMHO. He would have flamed out after year 6 or 7 rather than linger to year 10. He is a fraud at the ACC level of competition but would fit well at a school like Miami of Ohio, Murray State, UNC Wilmington etc.

  5. formrwolffan 03/15/2006 at 7:15 AM #

    Bringing back up the effect the state of the NCSU athletic programs and basketball in particular will and are having on fund-raising: I got my annual call from State for fund-raising for the school of engineering Monday night. Due to my disgust with the current situation I told the student who called that frankly I wasn’t going to give 10 cents to State until some changes were made concerning the basketball program. She laughed and said that was what everyone she called was telling her. I wonder if this kind of info every makes it to Oblinger?

  6. Trout 03/15/2006 at 7:46 AM #

    Good random thoughts. Concerning FSU and Maryland and NC State – as soon as I saw NC State was a #10 seed (and that occurrred very early in the Selection Show), I know both FSU and MD were OUT.

  7. RickJ 03/15/2006 at 8:21 AM #

    Agree with thoughts on FSU & Maryland with one addition – the Seton Hall debacle. This one game got Seton Hall in over several teams including FSU & Maryland.

    The best part of this is Maryland. Maryland’s inability to beat us has kept them out of the last 2 NCAA tournaments and the last two bowl games.

  8. VaWolf82 03/15/2006 at 8:24 AM #

    I have a slightly different solution for the 64/65 game. Take the bottom 15-20 conferences and recreate the I-AA division. Give the smaller schools their own national tournament at the end of the year.

    Since ESPN doesn’t get to broadcast the first-round games anymore…they would probably be happy to broadcast the I-AA tournament. Since the small schools only get money from one game in the current format, they would probably be better off getting more games from ESPN with a smaller overall payout.

    Then take the best 64 teams and have a real Div I playoff.

  9. choppack 03/15/2006 at 8:42 AM #

    “He is a fraud at the ACC level of competition”

    BS – in the last 5 years, State has the 5th most wins in the conference, only trailing Wake and UMd by a couple of wins. In the last 3 years, he’s 3rd in the conference. Please be a little more reasonable.

    Herb is not meeting expectations here at NC State – and depending on how this team does in the tournament, may need to resign or removed. But please, don’t act like he’s a terrible coach. He’s not.

    VA Wolf – these are the exact type comments I’m talking about. It’s mainstream in the internet wolfpack nation – certainly not the extreme.

  10. choppack 03/15/2006 at 8:45 AM #

    I like the idea of the changing the play-in games – it would definitely make for more exciting TV than watching some minors slug it out for the right to lose to a 1 seed.

    Also, if you want to watch a coaching prospect, watch the Winthrop-UT game. Gregg Marshall has taken them to the tourney 6 out of 8 years. When he took over the program they were 7-21 – the next year they reversed their record. Ideally, our prospects would at least have mid-major experience, but it will be interesting to watch his team against UT.

  11. class of '74 03/15/2006 at 9:09 AM #

    ^choppack. He is a fraud! He was sold to us 10 years ago as the “next Pitino”.
    He is not a longterm ACC top tier coach! That’s what I was referring. There is a big difference between between being on the big stage like the ACC and being at Miami of Ohio. Herb is a mid major coach period.

  12. Trout 03/15/2006 at 9:26 AM #

    I’m still surprised Greg Marshall didnt get the Clemson job 3 years ago. IMO, he will replace Dave Odom at SC after next year.

  13. choppack 03/15/2006 at 9:42 AM #

    “He is not a longterm ACC top tier coach! That’s what I was referring. There is a big difference between between being on the big stage like the ACC and being at Miami of Ohio. Herb is a mid major coach period.”

    I don’t know – if he stays here 5 years, he may certainly prove that out. However, in the last 5 years, he’s produced regular season results that would be tolerated at probably any school other UNC-Ch and State (and I suspect would have been tolerated at Duke as well before Coach K. )

    I think Herb has done a decent job on this stage – the last 5 years – it’s just not good enough to satisfy our fan base.

    Trout – it will be interesting to see how he does. If he creates a consistent winner at SC, I think we can say he’s a heck of a coach. (So you’re saying Dave Odom will be fired?)

  14. class of '74 03/15/2006 at 10:04 AM #

    ^If he stays here another five years mark this down. Average home attendance will be under 8,500. Our average ACC finish will be between 5th and 6th. And WPC donations will fall 25 to 33%.

  15. cfpack03 03/15/2006 at 10:10 AM #

    “We are NC State. We have history and tradition. There is NO reason we should not be in the same sentence as UNC and Duke. ”

    However, the events that established our history and tradition occurred 2 generations ago. This 20 yr period of mediocrity has cleansed this ‘we have history and tradition’ attitude from our brains. And our students, fans, and grads under the age of 30 have never had this mentality.

  16. Mike 03/15/2006 at 10:36 AM #

    Then it is time to re-establish the tradition and history. I am over 30, almost 40, but I remember. An off year here or there is OK, but the pattern we are establishing is not. Why have we lost our tradition and history? Look what you see now on the sidelines.

    All the talk of the Les years………OK, I can live with that. Les did the job he was supposed to do, and as an alum himself, Les served the U well. He had no talent whatsoever to work with, and he was hosed from the get go.

    I was optimistic with Herb and crew. However, given 10 years, there is no excuse for the medicrity we have now. Could it be worse? Yes. Am happy finishing 4th, 5th, 8th wherever? NO. We are NC State. We have tradition and history. We should be competitive to finishing in the top of the conference. We dont have to finish 1st or 2nd every year, but we should have a decent shot at it. We are NC State, we have tradition and history. Maybe if I say it enough, the under 30 crowd will hear it and learn it. We are NC State, we have tradition and history.

  17. choppack 03/15/2006 at 10:48 AM #

    “If he stays here another five years mark this down. Average home attendance will be under 8,500. Our average ACC finish will be between 5th and 6th. And WPC donations will fall 25 to 33%.”

    What would you have predicted 5 years ago?

  18. class of '74 03/15/2006 at 12:59 PM #

    ^That we would have fired him for underperforming in the first 5 years. But I forgot we have LF as our AD.

  19. choppack 03/15/2006 at 10:44 PM #

    Didn’t really answer the question…Seriously, what did you expect 5 years ago when you realized he was going to be fired?

    I’ll be honest – I wanted him gone then too – wouldn’t mind seeing him leave now barring a miraculous tourney run – but I imagine, if someone said we were going to 5 straight NCAA’s and would average over 9 regular seasons conference wins – you’d either attack them or laugh your head off – and it would be understandable if you did so.

Leave a Reply