Monday, March 14, 2011

2011 Bracket Announcement and ESPN

The wailing and gnashing of teeth from ESPN over the inclusion of UAB and VCU over Colorado and Virginia Tech is quite annoying.

Hubert Davis talked incessantly about the Eye Test, which near as I could figure meant: (i) Teams he saw play, (ii) Teams from big conferences and (iii) Teams with big-name recruits. Pretty much teams from the BCS conferences.

Digger Phelps talked about getting things done in the conference season. Of course the big-conference teams will be the only ones who can beat top teams in the conference portion of the season. Also it seems a little strange to talk about teams that were denied after getting the job done in the conference season when they were 8-8 in conference (Colorado).

I am half-convinced that Jay Bilas would be perfectly happy if they just took the 68 best teams from the BCS conferences. It is particularly annoying when he complains about how worthless RPI is and then talks about how poor a team's record is against the RPI Top 50.

Dick Vitale must have three or four rants prepared and then picks the one that makes the most sense given the bracket that is announced. In the past he has railed against the exclusion of the small schools. This year he complained about the exclusion of Colorado and VPI.

The whole program had a tendency to make "My father can beat up your little brother" arguments, i.e. focusing on the positives of Colorado and the negatives of VCU and UAB. They posted a graphic on VCU that only had the negatives, such as their worst loss against Georgia St. Meanwhile there was no mention of the fact that in addition to playing a weak non-conference schedule, Colorado played most of those games at home.

This all should not necessarily mean that the committee got it right. I personally would have taken St. Mary's, VPI and Colorado over UAB, Clemson and Georgia, but this number of changes is not much different than my usual preferences.

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