Showing posts with label Colorado NCAA snub. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Colorado NCAA snub. Show all posts

Monday, March 21, 2011

Kansas Last Big 12 Team Standing in Sweet 16

Kansas State coach Frank Martin recently commented that the Big 12 was disrespected by the media as well as the general public after Colorado was snubbed from the NCAA tournament. I thought Martin had a valid point, until the smoke cleared in the NCAA tournament and Kansas was the only team left standing.

To get here, the Jayhawks simply took care of business, playing average basketball and being the better team. The scary thing is KU has played nowhere near its best; in its win over Illinois, the Morris twins almost single handily beat the Illini and buried the memory of the Northern Iowa upset for good. If KU's guards start hitting outside shots and the Morris twins continue to play at a high level, the Jayhawks should take advantage of its favorable draw and make it back to the Final 4.

The problem for the Big 12 is once again, Kansas is the only team making any noise on a national level. The league needs sustained success from other programs to be credible, not a few flashes in the pan. Last year, K-State and Baylor both had strong Big 12 finishes and made the Elite 8 before falling to the two teams that made the final. This season, the Wildcats entered the tournament as a 5 seed and lost in the second round, while Baylor isn't even found in the NIT. Despite some regular season success, Texas once again fell short in the NCAA tournament, while Texas A&M and Missouri got bounced in the first round. KU's seven straight Big 12 titles doesn't help the Big 12's reputation as a one team league, despite the talent level the conference boasts. With the new, tougher league next year and coaches like Billy Gillispie entering the fray (or re-entering in Gillispie's case), the Big 12 could be the best conference in America. Hopefully America will notice.

Thursday, March 17, 2011

Today's Big 12 NCAA Tournament Games

Despite Colorado's NCAA snub, the Big 12 still has five teams who are ready to make a run at the Final 4. Only Missouri and KState are in action today, where the Tigers will try to turn its season around while the Wildcats try to avoid an upset.

(11) Missouri vs. (6) Cincinnati - 8:50 p.m.

The Bearcats are back in the NCAA Tournament for the first time in six years, and face a Mizzou team that hasn't played well lately. The Tigers closed their regular season with four straight losses, barely got by lowly Texas Tech in the Big 12 tournament, and then got creamed by Texas A&M. It is hard to turn around a late season tailspin, but Missouri has some talent. One has to wonder if the rumors of Mike Anderson going to Arkansas are having any affect on Missouri, or if the team's psyche is hurt from so many late season losses. Cincinnati is well seasoned from battling tough Big East teams all season, and is as predictable as they come. The Bearcats have lost to most of the highly ranked teams they have faced, and beaten everyone they should have beaten. They don't score a lot or push the tempo, so this could make for an interesting matchup of contrasting styles.

(12) Utah State vs. (5) Kansas State - 8:57 p.m.

Kansas State is happy to be in the tournament after its horrible start to Big 12 play made us all wonder what happened to the Wildcats from last season. Now KState gets a ticked off Utah State team who felt it should have a better seed. This will be a tough one for KSU; the Aggies have only three losses on the year, and two of those were to solid opponents (BYU and Georgetown). KState will need to use its athleticism to force some turnovers and get out in transition, or they could be heading home early.

Monday, March 14, 2011

Colorado Snubbed from NCAA Tournament

Despite expanding the field to 68 teams and having less tournament-worthy "mid-majors," the NCAA selection committee just committed the biggest NCAA tournament snub in the history of the college basketball. While there are several other teams with arguments as to why they should be in the field, the Colorado Buffaloes have received the worst NCAA snub of all time .

You may not get into all of the math and statistics of college basketball like many college basketball followers, but even the casual fan can see at first glance that Colorado got hosed. The Buffs finished 21-13 overall and 8-8 in the Big 12. Not bad, especially in a tough league that featured five other tournament teams. Colorado beat several teams that not only made the tournament, but are a high seed as well. The Buffs beat Kansas State three times, while knocking off Texas as well. Missouri, who finished with the same Big 12 record as Colorado and had a terrible finish to its season, made the field as an 11 seed. Colorado beat the Tigers as well.

The real crime here is not so much Colorado being left out while less deserving teams such as UAB and VCU get in, it is that fans are going to be robbed of seeing some good basketball. You really think UAB, VCU, or USC can make a deep run in the tournament? The answer is no. If UAB or VCU makes it out of the first round it will then be destroyed in the round of 32. Thats why Colorado's snub is worse than the traditional bubble teams that don't get in - Colorado had a chance to go deep. We aren't comparing two mid-major schools that will both get hammered early. Colorado routinely beat good teams, and also gave league powerhouse Kansas two scares. This isn't your routine bubble punching bag, this is dangerous team from a BCS conference.

A big factor in the selection committee's criteria is the "eye test," or how a team looks simply based on watching their games. How does Colorado not get in based on this alone? Did the committee watch any of the recent games? Doesn't Colorado's third win of the season over KState or the Buffs' single digit loss to Kansas look better than UAB's loss to East Carolina in the Conference USA quarterfinals?

I realize Colorado had a weak non-conference schedule and has dropped some bad games this season. However, it is time for the NCAA tournament to select bubble teams that can do some damage, not serve as a punching bag for the top teams. UAB and VCU have no chance to go deep in this year's field, Colorado did. That is why this isn't your ordinary tournament snub, and hopefully the outrage over this injustice will lead to some changes in regards to how bubble teams are selected to the NCAA tournament.


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