I bet you thought that politics, economics and world affairs were the only areas in which this bog has been proven right, IN FORESIGHT. Not ture.
Richmond, Virginia has as many teams left in the NCAA basketball tournament (Richmond and VCU) as the Big East conference, and the Big East started (ridiculously) with 11.
Several years ago--I think when the Big East frist had 8 teams in the tournament--this blog told you that the Big East was an overrated basketball conference. Yes, the teams seem to win a lot of non-conference, early season games. But this seems to be a matter os style more than anything else. The physical intensity--not real skill--taught in the Big East seems intimidating to teams not ready for it (early in the year, or in non-conference games not emppasized by other schools). Then Big East teams start beating up on each other--losing LOTS of games--and everyone says that it proves what a great conference the Big East is. Nope. It merely proves, as the NCAA tournaments in the past have shown, that Big East t3eams losing to each other tends to show that the teams are not really that good. When the teams face schools ready to match their intensity, in the NCAA tournament, the Big East tends to lose a LOT of games (again, just as in conference).
Ye, it was ridiculous for the Big East to have 11 teams in this year's NCAA tournament. In fact, nothing shows the INCOMPETENCE of ESPN peole more than their PROPAGANDA for this result. it is not just that the Big East is an overrated conference, even though I have been proven right on that. What sense does it make to include a team in the BOTTOM HALF of the Big East in the "at-large" selections, whien such a team has shown it can't even end up in the top half of the team's conference. NO. I do NOT care if the team is supposedly one of the "top' 37 at-large teams. What this year's NCAA tournament has again shown us is that we have NO way of knowing that as to Big East teams who have lost (for example) 8 or 9 out of their last 10 games. What we do know is that those teams (like Villanova) have proven they do NOT deserve to be in the NCAA tournament (as would be true of ANY conference whre the bottom teams are asserted to belong in the tournament as at-large selections).
A "modest proposal" (or not so modest, since it obviiously makes so much sense):
1. NO team with a conference record of less than .500 should be eligible for being chosen as an "at-large" team in the 68 team field, no matter how "good" the conference supposedly is. Any such team should have to win the conference tournament (as Connecticut did in the Big East, and is still--not coincidentally--one of two, out of 11, still alive).
2. NO team which does not finish in the toop HALF of its conference (including ties and any odd numbered middle team) should be eligible for selection as an at-large selection.
3. NO team which does not have at least a .500 overall record should be eligible for an at-large selection. Yes, this one is probably unnecessary, since I don't think any such team has been selected. But, for completeness, it should be part of the criteria for eligibility.
Yes,it is obiouvs teams neear the TOP of "lesser" conferences should have a chance to prove themselves before any team that does not meet ALL of the above 3 criteria. It was, and is, absurd that the Big East had 11 teams in this year's tournament. If lyou can't even finish at the .500 level in your own conference, or in the top half of your own conference, then you have not shown you should be given a chance to win a national championship. Let HARVARD in. Maybe Harvard would finish last in the Big East, but maybe it would not. We can't possibly know. Even with the non-conference schedule, comparing teams is obviously very difficult. Teams that suddenly start losing in the Big East may be VERY BAD. And teams which start winning in the Ivy League may be pretty good. We can't know. What we can know is that a team that can't even finish at .5000 in the Big East does not DESERVE to be in the bigger NCAA tournament. They have already PLAYED themselves out of a "right" to be selected, since there is no real basis for assuming that their confrence is that much better than other conferences. Let us SEE how good the other conferences are, by giving their TOP teams a chance, instead of putting ht eBig East BOTTOM teams in the tournament.
Nope. I repeat: The Big East is an overrated conference. No, I am not saying the conference is terrible. Teams from the conference have obviosly sometimes done well in the NCAA tournament. But that does not change the absurdity of selecting a team that cannot even finish .5000 in the conference, or in the top half, in the big tournament--no matter how good youTHINK the Big East is (or Big Ten, or ACC or whatever).
I know. The "major" conferences have all of the leverage. Thus, you can expect that my "modest proposal" will never be adopted. It makes too much sense.
It is a heck of a lot more exciting to see UNKNOWN schools who have not yet PROVEN themselves to be LOSERS competing with the big boys than it is to see the same old LOSERS trying to recapture a magic that they could not show in the entire conference schedule, or by winning the conference championship. That is the reason there are those AUTOMATIC bids for conference winners. All my propsal does is extend that perfectly sound principle to the at-large selections--insuring that teams that have done well in their own--"lesser"--conrences do not lose their chance to teams that can't even compete in their own conferences (where the most intense, defining regular season basketball is played).
Yes, you ESPN peoiple who worship the Big East every year are STUPID. But see my previous article, where I show that ALL ESPN people have risen to their LEVEL OF INCOMPETENCE. You might say the same thing of most of those Big East teams that got into this year's NCAA men's basketball tournament