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Friday News:

Friday, March 15
(5) Syracuse vs. (1) Georgetown
Big East Tournament - 7:00 pm ET - ESPN

Georgetown (25-5) used a balanced attack to defeat Cincinnati in the Big East Tournament, meaning the Hoyas and Syracuse will play yet again tonight with a trip to the finals on the line.

John Thompson III is a finalist for the Jim Phelan National Coach of the Year Award.

There's a very good piece on Otto Porter in Sports Illustrated.

Richmond (18-14) was leading by three over Charlotte at the Atlantic 10 Tournament with :04.7 seconds left. I'd try and describe what happened next but the video of the bizarre finish embedded below shows it all.

Both top-seeded Louisiana Tech and second seed Denver (21-9) were shocked in the WAC Tournament quarterfinals. The Pioneers never led in their 72-68 loss to Texas State.

The end also came for Reggie Hearn and Northwestern (13-19). The Wildcats fell behind 11-0 and were unable to catch Iowa.

Jack said,

March 15, 2013 @ 11:58 am

More absurdly bad officiating ruins another game. Where do they dig up these clowns?

Steven Postrel said,

March 16, 2013 @ 8:05 pm

Re the WAC: More evidence of the stupidity of one-bid leagues having conference tourneys for the automatic bid. This year, if the WAC followed Ivy rules there would have been a dramatic one-game playoff between Denver and La.Tech for the NCAA bid. That would have garnered way more media interest and publicity than these sad, low-enthusiasm, high-desperation tourney circuses.

The MEAC had an even bigger wipe-out of top seeds in its tournament. And in the Big Ten, Big East, etc., the tournament ONLY matters if something goes wrong and an undeserving but motivated team streaks past all the qualified but complacent at-large qualifiers. The NCAA committee should say that losses in conference tournaments count double on a team's record to maintain the integrity of the process.

Jon Solomon said,

March 17, 2013 @ 10:15 am

I wonder about things drinking iced coffee on a Sunday morning:

1. What the tipping point will be. Once one small conference gives up their tournament, I think a lot of others will follow. The MAAC drew ~12K all weekend for their four day affair. That's a lot of money down the drain, I'd imagine.

2. If the best model isn't keeping the conference tournaments only for the major conferences and coming up with some other way to fill the time at the end of the season.

3. How about this? Thinking of some of the BBL/European Soccer models for various in-year titles, what if there was some sort of "pod playoffs" during Championship Week where the regular season champs of several regional conferences had a pre-NCAA Tournament? I don't know what the ultimate purpose would be (further resume building?) but give it a good name, a fancy trophy and put it on TV. I'd watch!

Jon Solomon said,

March 17, 2013 @ 10:19 am

Imagine the champs of the Ivy, Patriot, NEC and America East playing round robin over two or three days!

Steven Postrel said,

March 17, 2013 @ 12:52 pm

Interesting idea. I'd be worried about the NCAA treating such a festival as a play-in tourney, but those are games I'd like to see.

While we're dreaming of Euro solutions, why not use relegation to Division II to motivate lagging teams and their fans? I've often thought that would work well in football, where the FBS/FCS teams already have a lot of contact in terms of scheduling, recruiting, and quality overlap at the bottom of one and the top of the other.

Jon Solomon said,

March 17, 2013 @ 2:56 pm

I don't think the various TV deals would allow for relegation.

Keep the Top 10 multi-bid conference tournaments:

Big 10, Big East, Mountain West, ACC, Pac 12, Big 12, SEC, A-10, MVC and WCC.

Perhaps Conference USA too.

That leaves ~21 conferences I'd divide up regionally (22 if you count the Ivy League) for some new-fangled regional Championship Week fun.

Would help with RPI for Mid-Majors too!


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