Wednesday, March 17, 2010

Is the Dook Fix in????

Welcome to the NCAA tournament, the only sporting event in the country where people become less interested as we move closer to the finals!

Conspiracy theorists are aligning themselves and taking shots at Dook, the NCAA and CBS. One look at the bracket on Sunday evening and it became evident that Coach K has a cakewalk to the Final 4. All I know is that if I was dealt this kind of hand at the Blackjack table, the pit boss would have come over and changed dealers.

The first argument for the Dookies preferential treatment comes in the fact that they received a #1 seed, and not just the last #1 seed (4th overall) but the third #1 seed ahead of Syracuse. Add to the fact that that Syracuse won the Big East and West Virginia won the Big East tournament, playing in a deeper, better conference, pundits will use this as the basis that Duke is not deserving of the 1 seed. The NCAA argues that Duke won its confernce and conference tournament to justify the 1 seed, but yet doesn't use the same criteria when underseeding a team like Temple?

Secondly, look at the bracket the Devils are in. They easily have the worst #2 seed in slumping Villanova, a team that can't play defense without fouling, #3 Baylor, which hasn't won an NCAA tournament game since 1950. #4 and injury plagued, overseeded Purdue is garbage and #5 Texas A & M is just not that good. This a joke.

But who can blame CBS and the NCAA for this set up. Ratings for college basketball have declined greatly over the years and nobody really discusses the sport till late February. The players and teams are not as good as in the past, so ratings decline and the sport has been dieing a slow death or becoming the indoor version of college baseball for the last 20 years with the early entries into the NBA draft.

Add into this mix that college hoop bluebloods like UCLA, North Carolina and UConn are absent, you have a set up for a rating disaster. Not good with negotiations for tournament broadcast rights coming up in the near future, the NCAA needs Duke to advance to get higher TV ratings to rake more $$$ out of CBS, ESPN, FOX or whoever gets the next round of NCAA Tournament broadcast rights. They still command a television audience, they are polarizing so it seems like a perfect storm set up for a conspircay.

Only problem is Dook has not been the old Dook for several years, constatnly getting bounced before the Sweet 16 (see Anthony Grant and VCU or Bob Huggins and West Virginia) and missing out on the Final 4 all together since 2004. So CBS needs Dook and well, it looks like maybe Coach K needs the help too based on his results in recent years.

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