Submitted by Jim Hurley on Saturday, March 15, 2014 at 9:11 AM
Gee, wonder what the NCAA Tournament Committee members are thinking about and talking about up in their cozy hotel rooms in Indianapolis this weekend?
Sure, we hear the nine-member committee - at least that's what we've been told that there are eight gentlemen and one woman who are formulating just how the brackets are gonna look come 6 p.m. Eastern time on Sunday night - knew their job was a tough one going into this hoops-filled weekend but did you really think they would be weighing their options as to what to do with a handful-plus "name teams" that wound up losing in their respective conference tournaments even before they got to the mini-tourney championship games?
Network March Madness Program On an 11-1 Run, going 5-1 Thursday & 6-0 Friday!
As we headed into Saturday's action, already the likes of #3 Villanova, #10 Kansas, #11 Syracuse, #13 Cincinnati, #15 North Carolina, #17 Oklahoma, #18 Saint Louis, #19 Memphis and #25 SMU had all bitten the dust in these always-dangerous, always-entertaining mini tournies and the question really is how much do these nine ranked teams get "punished" for not even getting to their title tilts ... or do the committee members merely look at these games as part of a team's so-called body of work?
All we now is Villanova cannot and should not be a No. 1 seed in next week's NCAA Tournament nor should Kansas and we'd be so inclined to drop Syracuse a seed line to #3 and ditto for North Carolina who now should be no higher than a #4 seed ... got it?
What are some of the other hot/pressing topics on the table for the NCAA Tournament Committee folks before the 68-team field finally does go public Sunday evening?
Glad you asked 'cause we're here at Jim Sez today to answer some questions and give our views on some major matters as they relate to this year's NCAA Tournament. We shall get to our subject matter shortly but first this key reminder:
Jim Hurley and his Network of Handicappers and Bloggers will keep steamrolling their way through March with loads of College Basketball winners and take special note that The Network March Madness Package includes all of the weekend's remaining Conference Tournament Games - remember there are Five (5) title tilts on the Sunday menu including the ACC, the Atlantic-10, the Sun Belt, the SEC and the Big 10 -- along with all the upcoming NCAA Tournament Games. Right now we're on an 11-1 run...here are the games.
|Thu 3/13||Pittsburgh (-9) Wake Forest||WON||84-55|
|Penn State (+4.5) Minnesota||Lost||56-63|
|Eastern Michigan (+3) Buffalo||WON||69-64|
|Houston (+9.5) SMU||WON||68-64|
|Providence (+5) St Johns||WON||79-74|
|New Mexico (-9) Fresno State||WON||93-77|
|Fri 3/14||Pittsburgh (+1) North Carolina||WON||80-75|
|Nebraska (+6) Ohio State||WON||67-71|
|Illinois/Michigan OVER 125||WON||63/64|
|Wisconsin (-5) Minnesota||WON||83-57|
|NC State (+9) Syracuse||WON||66-63|
|UCLA (-3½) Stanford||WON||84-59|
Keep in mind the Jim Hurley Network banged out a sporty 20-10 record a year ago in the NCAA Tournament plus you'll also receive all the other post-season tournaments such as the NIT, CBI and CIT Tournies too. And you get it all for only $150! You heard us right ... just $150. Get it either right here online or at our exclusive toll-free telephone # of 1-888-777-4155 - plus don't forget we're banging out lots of NBA Winners too these days and so go ahead and join the fun and profits today with all the hardwood action this month.
THE NCAA TOURNAMENT
Okay, so the NCAA Tournament Committee folks sure do have a lot on their plates this weekend but let's just say that we're here to help: First off, to settle the ever-annoying question as to who are this year's four No. 1 seeds let's hand 'em out to Florida, Wichita State, Arizona and Louisville providing the defending champion U of L Cardinals beat Connecticut in the first-ever American Athletic Conference Tournament.
Now that was easy, right?
Next on the NCAA Tournament Committee's "to-do list" we'd like to see teams that won their regular-season titles in the power conferences get the other better seeds ... in other words, the likes of Virginia, Michigan, Kansas and Villanova all should better seeds than someone that might win their mini-tourney this weekend.
In short, let's not see a Wisconsin or a Duke, let's say, get a better seed than these four above-mentioned teams whose body or work was stronger from start to finish.
Next, let's make sure we do two things with these "second-round" games that really are first-rounders for all intents and purposes:
Stop putting mid-major teams against one another on the opening Thursday or Friday - the whole point of the first two full days of the NCAA Tournament is to have these fun matchups of power conference teams vs. mid-majors, so let's avoid stuff like last year's VCU vs. Akron game, okay?
There should be - by our estimate - about 40-or-so power conference teams included in the 68-team field and so there will be plenty of opportunities to have solid first-matchup games such as flashy Louisiana Tech vs. UCLA in perhaps a #12 vs. #5 matchup or how about aforementioned VCU vs. Texas in an #8- vs. #9 draw?
You get the point: Let's get a half-dozen of these type games on the opening Thursday/Friday and let's see what mid-major squads can march out with wins.
And while we're at it, let's go back to the old days of being a little "cute" with these opening-round matchups - when there's some kind of coaching angle let's see the NCAA Tournament Committee take advantage of the storyline and give us media folks (and fans, too, of course) something meaty to chew on ... and how about pitting one of the "new" ACC teams against a current Big East member or maybe get a geographical rivalry out of it such as Toledo vs. Ohio State or maybe Milwaukee vs. Wisconsin.
Food for thought.
We know that this next subject this is pointed out every year in our pre-NCAA Tournament Selection Sunday column but we'll repeat ourselves: Let's not "reward" any teams not deserving of a reward with major site advantages and so when we all check out the brackets come Sunday night here's hoping that Syracuse isn't playing in the Buffalo bracket while seeded lower than someone else that must play at that locale. In fact, we'll take a moment to help the committee folks and suggest the following teams to play at the following sites:
- Buffalo - If Syracuse is there as a #3 seed, that's fine as long as say a #2-seeded Villanova isn't there too as we know they won't play each other till the following weekend but why have pro-'Cuse crowd negatively impact Villanova? See what we mean?
- Orlando - If Florida's not playing here than there ought to be an investigation.
- Milwaukee - We know there will be at least two Big 10 teams in this region and if the Wisky Badgers are one of them then that's fine providing they at least got to Sunday's Big 10 mini-tourney title game.
- Spokane - What unfortunate East Coast team will get shipped all the way out west here ... gotta feeling there could be major travel tales for the likes of Manhattan and/or Delaware.
- Raleigh - Heaven help the NCAA folks if North Carolina winds up playing a game here against an equal or better foe ... that's just not fair!
- St. Louis - As punishment for their late-season swoon, the Saint Louis Billikens absolutely can't play in the "arch city" but something tells us old Missouri Valley Conference club Creighton will make a triumphant return.
- San Antonio - One of these brackets is gonna wind up more loaded than all the rest and we won't blame the committee folks if the likes of Kansas, Oklahoma and Louisville all find their way to the "River Walk".
- San Diego - The Arizona Wildcats should be at this site and ditto for Gonzaga 'cause no way do the Zags deserve to play in their own backyard in Spokane, right?
Now, for the real pressing question: How do you handle all these bubble teams?
Here goes ...
The bubble teams that are in include the following: N.C. State, St. Joseph's, Southern Miss, BYU, Missouri and Baylor;
The bubble teams that are out include the following ...Florida State, Iowa, Minnesota, Arkansas, LSU, California, Oklahoma State, St. John's and Marquette.
Finally, let's delve past the so-called second-round matchups and suggest some possible Saturday/Sunday games for next weekend on the NCAA Tournament bracket sheet ...How about a couple of #4 vs. #5 matchups (providing these teams win their Thursday/Friday games, of course) such as ...
Iowa State vs. San Diego State; Kentucky vs. Nebraska; and maybe even Connecticut vs. Creighton ... now where do we sign up to get some of these beauties?
NOTE: We'll recap Selection Sunday in the next edition of Jim Sez - so don't dare miss out!