Nevada's Kevinn Pinkney
March 18, 2005
So what did Day One of the NCAA Tournament teach us? That the mid-majors have proven once again that they can play with the power conferences.
Look at the results - Pacific over
That brings me to my point. We all watch the NCAA Tournament first round to see all the Davids beat the Goliaths. And I'm here to say...Give me more!!!
There is a reason
So, with that said, I have two ideas for the Selection Committee going forward to make their job easier and, at the same time, create even more games like this. They are both simple and use tons of common sense.
1: A team must finish OVER .500 in conference play to be eligible for an at-large bid. If you can't win just over half your conference games, why should you reap the rewards (both financial and otherwise) the Big Dance affords?
2: If you go unbeaten in conference play, you are in the Tournament, regardless of your Conference Tournament result. Again, this makes sense. Make the regular season count for something, rather than putting all the emphasis on the Conference Tourney.
How many teams are affected in this year's Tournament?
The first rule would remove four teams; Iowa (7-9 in the Big Ten), Georgia Tech (8-8, ACC), N.C. State (7-9, ACC) and
Who would have filled these spots? Well, Notre Dame certainly would have gotten the WVU spot. They qualify under this rule. But the other two (plus Davidson) were earned by mid-majors. They would have gone to the MAC teams that deserve to be in but didn't get chosen (
On Friday's docket, there are seven contests that people will stop working to watch: Louisville/Lousiana-Lafayette, Florida/Ohio and Syracuse/Vermont (4/13 matchups); Georgia Tech/George Washington, Michigan State/Old Dominion and Villanova/New Mexico (5/12 games); and Wisconsin/Northern Iowa (6/11).
When we look at tournaments past, it is matchups like this that we remember from the early rounds.
Take a look at your brackets. I'll wager everyone has at least two lower-seeded mid-majors winning in these games (for the record, I have three:
And Saturday it gets even juicier. There three real good ones that feature high profile schools and upstarts: Washington/Pacific (1 vs. 8), Illinois/Nevada (1 vs. 9) and
Neither of these two changes is even guaranteed to be needed or used every year. But knowing they are out there will give a little extra motivation to some teams during the season. A Big East team is having trouble getting ready for