Thursday, March 15, 2007
Is everyone out there happy with the field of gladiators selected by the 10-person NCAA Selection Committee?
Naturally, yours truly would have preferred to see Ole Miss slide under the radar. Actually, I’m not really too disappointed. The Rebels made a run for the marbles in the latter part of the season but when they stumbled in the SEC West, I figured their chances deteriorated from slim to none.
The reason there was not great heartburn with the committee, they had the dispatch and perspicacity to pick five SEC teams overall. If memory recalls correctly, this number is down one from last season.
As was expected, Florida grabbed a number one place. And even if the Gators had not won the SEC, they probably would have gone in at least a number two.
Other SEC pleasers are Arkansas (lost the SEC championship game to the Gators), Tennessee to face Long Beach in the South Regional on Friday at Columbus, Ohio; and Vanderbilt against George Washington in the East at Sacramento on Thursday. Rounding things out is Kentucky in the West, vying with Villanova on Friday.
And true to their form, the committee didn’t hear the plea of many seeking entry whose records were below the 20-win mark. Just two made it – Miami-Ohio (18-14) and Stanford (18-12). Stanford probably made it on reputation.
The huge boom of glee heard Sunday night came from Memphis when the Tigers heard that they would be a two seed in the South, contesting North Texas on Friday. The Tigers were expecting a three place. Incidentally, the Tigers belong to the terrific three which had a record that broke into the “30s.” Kansas and Ohio State (both one seeds) were the other two.
Some of the mid-major programs had been lamenting the fact that the committee seems to exclude many of them each season. That probably has merit. However, I am not sure that Jackson State, albeit wishing and hoping for a spot on the “Big Dance” card, is all that happy about their dance partner. They have to waltz with the Gators on Friday in the Midwest. Oh, partner, what big teeth you have.
Two other middies got a chance to sneak in – Florida A&M and Niagara meet in the play-in game on Tuesday. The prize for the winner is Kansas, 30-game winner and number one in the West. Now, that is a reward worth waiting for.
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