Sunday, March 20, 2011

The Post Mortem: The Big What?

Congratulations to Notre Dame for putting the exclamation point on what had to be considered an utterly embarrassing tournament start for the Big East. Only two teams survived to the Sweet 16, and the only reason that happened was because the bracket paired up Big East teams, ensuring that somebody had to make it from the most overrated conference in America.

You splinter off a few of those teams (not easy to do with 11 qualifiers) and you are looking at no Big East representation. Outstanding.

Charles Barkley has helped make this the greatest tournament so far in history. The NCAA, CBS, Viacom finally made the right call by discontinuing the DirecTV tournament pass (seriously, why are sports league keep this failed experiment in satellite afloat?) and putting all of the games on broadcast television.

Hey, did you hear that NFL? While you dicks were busy pissing and moaning about your billions of play money, one sports entity and broadcast partner was getting it right. Could you imagine CBS putting morning games on four different networks, and FOX doing the same? That would be horrible to allow the public to watch the games that they want to see.

But I digress, this is about Barkley at the moment.

The best moment of the tournament so far came during a studio moment when Barkley was running down the Big East with Rick Pitino on the set. Pitino looked as if one of his one-night stands had walked on the set to tell him that she was pregnant and needed money for an abortion.

Pitino went on to say that Notre Dame would not lose to Florida State (uh, o.k.), and the Big East would have two teams in the Final Four.

Not happening.

By the same token, does anybody remember when the media was crying because VCU was given a chance to be in the tournament? I hate to say it, but the NCAA got it right here. Funny, strange things like that can happen you actually decide to settle things on the field.

Another great part of the tournament was that most of the anxiety teams were eliminated. We were a few clutch shots from Michigan away from getting rid of all of the axis of evil teams. As only Duke remains.

And if I may take a moment to say this, I am so glad that we found a way to give both Duke and North Carolina home games during the first rounds of the tournament. Remember those harrowing times when one of those teams were sent out of Greensboro? Awful. Now the referees have a chance to be intimidated by two fan bases, and not just one.

And trust me, a current college referee once confided to me that they do get swayed by the home crowd.

Ohio State also got a home game, too, to be fair. But come on, they lost LeBron James publicly, so I will give them a pass.

The referees also warrant some discussion here. And this needs to be said, how soon are we going to have the players call their own fouls? Being a basketball referee is the most impossible job imaginable. You would have a better chance making the Napa "know how" song a top hit.

(A quick aside, can we just cut to the chase and have Alicia Keys sing the Napa song and get it over with?)

Here is what I would say, just swallow your whistle in the case of Butler vs. Pittsburgh. If the referees didn't call a foul in the final two seconds, the game has the same result, yet your integrity remains intact.

Nobody wants to see a five-second violation. Especially after you only counted to four.

And for (expletive) sake, Washington was not fouled in the first half? It wasn't like the Huskies weren't driving to the basket. Ten fouls to two? Again, this is why teams should not get home games in the tournament.

OUR MAN from the Insomniac's Lounge with the seedings of the teams that have eliminated the Big East: 13, 11, 11, 11, 10, 8, 8, 4, 3.

WHAT ARE the odds that Jim Nantz even watched ESPN's documentary on the Fab 5? All he heard was that somebody took a shot at Duke (listen to him, he had no idea what he was talking about), and he wanted to speak out.

Nantz is fighting Mike Patrick to be the Joesph Goebbels of Duke. Nantz and Patrick likely argue over what Coach Kryzgfhfvcbnmdfghjrtyski's taint tastes like.


Whitney Cummings is hot, right?


Anonymous said...

Whitney Cummings looks a little like Heidi Fleiss...

Anonymous said...

A poor tournament performance doesn't make the Big East overrated. The simple fact is that, overall, the Big East CRUSHED its non-conference opponents this season.

Here's a list of notable teams who were Big East victims this year (in the regular season) ...

Texas (2x), Kentucky, Michigan, Michigan State (2x), Wisconsin, Butler, Tennessee, UNLV, Gonzaga, Xavier, UCLA, Georgia, Temple, Vanderbilt, BU (2x), Bucknell [these teams all made it to March Madness] ...

Other solid teams who didn't make it to March Madness & who were also Big East victims:
Alabama (2x), Maryland (2x), Oklahoma, Northwestern, Saint Mary's

Also consider:
1) Two Big East teams were inevitably going to lose when UConn played Cincy & Syracuse played Marquette in the second round.
2) DJ Kennedy (St. John's) was not able to play in the tournament due to knee injury
3) Chris Wright (G-town) was playing with a broken hand
4) Pitt lost on a bizarre foul with 0.8s to a team (Butler) that played for a national title last year.

A tournament flop (if you can call 2 teams in the Sweet 16 a flop) only indicates that B.E. teams either a) happened to play poorly in a recent stretch of high-stakes, win-or-go-home games, or b) B.E. teams just got unlucky this year. Or maybe it's some combo of (a) and (b).

Either way, the records (and the victim list) don't lie -- regardless of their tournament performance, all 11 of the Big East teams who were selected this year had a very legitimate claim to be there.

THN said...

That was kind of the point, anonymous. The Big East only got two teams into the Sweet 16 because they got paired off. Otherwise, as I wrote, we would probably be looking an an 0-for from the Big East in the Sweet 16.

Anonymous said...

Another way to look at it...
Nova was a 9 seed who lost to an 8 seed
WVU was a 5 seed who lost to a 4 seed
Marquette was an 11 that upset a 6, then a 3(cuse)
Cincy was a 6 that beat an 11 then lost to a 3(uconn)

Gtown was upset 11 over 6
LV was upset 13 over 4
Notre Dame was upset 10 over 2
Pitt lost to a team that was in the Nat'l Championship last year (an 8 over 1)
SJU was upset 11 over 6

The only problem I have with the Big East are the seedings. How did all of the Big East get such high seeds? I agree with the conference underperforming, but why not look at the overrated seedings too?

SJU, ND, LV were all seeded too high. Way too high in the case of SJU.

(not the same anonymous)

Anonymous said...

I thinkl the Big East is the Tom Zbikowski of conferences?

(I am not the same Anonymous as the one two Anonymouses up, but actually the fourth Anonymous from the top on the February 9 2010 comment thread, and the sixth Anonymous from the bottom on the April 16 2007 thread in which I was accused of impersonating the all caps Anonymous, who is actually my cousin.)

DAWUSS said...

It would help if the anons got unique screen names...

buckyor said...

I just appreciate the fact that Anonymous(1) called Northwestern a solid basketball team. Maybe he's really Ed DeChellis, whose continued employment is due solely to the fact that he's able to beat the Cats like a drum twice yearly.

Bokolis said...

Did we need to suffer Barkley's four days of taunting and jibberish to behold his moment of clarity?

The worst call of that Butler-Pitt game was the charge and deuce they took away from Brown. The foul on Butler was justified while the foul on Pitt was the crap call. The first foul- due to the kid taking a bad angle, likely stopped a decent look. The Pitt foul, while more egregious, only stopped overtime.

If that mongoloid from Pitt fell asleep on the bus ride home, I figure he got the Private Pyle treatment.

D-leaguer said...

I can't wait for the next post now that a Big what team beat the Aztecs.

And I haaate Uconn.

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