Paul King: NCAA makes change to venue; some cry foul over selection process

March 19, 2009 

What to do about the NCAA racket on Selection Sunday? Even Clark Kellogg saw that non-BCS teams were dissed this year.

And then the NCAA Selection Committee president Michael Slive blithely ignored him with his annual disingenuous mantra about not looking at names.

Right.

Hint: defining basketball by football programs is no good. Drop the C from BCS and you have the result. Call me cynical, but I suspect that money (gasp!) is involved. Hooked on the football addiction, the big TV advertisers will complain if the big (football) names aren't there and the arenas are less than full (except at Dayton--it's always full).

My high school friend Ray and coach Brian Gregory at Dayton both say expand the field to 128. But there are only 300-some teams, and nearly half would go to the Dance. My solution? Let's get the top basketball teams at the Dance, and leave the football schools at home if they can't win. No team that loses over 10 games should go to the Dance, period, end of story, and every team will know that from the get-go. You lose, you snooze, not play.

This year, that would open up 15 slots. That means BC (22-11) and Maryland (20-13) should not be in the tournament this year. In the Big 10, Wisconsin (19-12) and Michigan (20-13) would be out. In the Big East, sorry West Virginia (23-11). And there's no way Arizona should be in at 19-13. Last year Arizona got in with a bad record and a collapse at the end of the year (just like this year). One of the NCAA judges 'fessed up that, well, they like Lute Olson (who took the year off) and Arizona is always in the tournament. The over 10-loss rule would stop that stuff.

And, I would eliminate the automatic ticket for conference tournament winners, too. Wins can add to a good team's record -- and seed -- but shouldn't mean teams with a better record don't dance. So, Southern Cal (21-12) and Mississippi State (23-12) would stay home, along with Temple. Sorry, too many losses. And if teams load up wins on weaklings to get the W's, that should militate against them. Football schools, too.

What about BCS schools that won't play teams like Dayton and Creighton home-and-home games? Reality check: Dayton and Pitt in 2006 and 2007. Pitt beats Dayton by 30 at Pitt in 2006. Then UD beats Pitt by 25 at Dayton in 2007 (and Pitt got some garbage points at the end). Hey, that's just good basketball. C'mon Pitt, can'tcha take it? And the only reason you did that home-and-home is because your AD (now your ex-AD) was from Dayton and signed you up.

The truth is, the BCS is scared. Drop the B and you get CS. Big East, tough guys? I say, they're hiding behind the skirts of their football cheerleaders. Hey NC, you wanna ball? Go play Butler at Butler. Tom Izzo, you da tough guy? Go play Creighton there. Ohio State? Think you own the state? You knooooow the truth. Go play X at X or Dayton at the UD Arena, or even the Zips at Akron. Louisville! You couldn't beat Dayton at your place and you couldn't beat us at our phony "home" in Cincinnati. Play us at UD, punks! The truth is, you BCS schools got no cojones! You'll get your butts beat, and you know it! You're limp! We're callin' you out, wimps!

Get the football out of basketball! Let's see some real hoops!

Paul King is a 1966 Dayton alumnus, a lawyer in Washington, DC, and still can hit the three and drive the baseline at Paulie's Pavilion outside his apartment.

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