Monday, March 14, 2011
Alabama snubbed, headed to the NIT
Unable to watch the Alabama-Kentucky game on Saturday of the SEC Tournmanet was grinding me to a slow death. Prior commitments prevented me from viewing or listening to the game. But after that performance, coupled with Va. Tech, Penn State and Richmonds wins, I had resigned myself to the fact that Alabama probably wasn't getting "in" the field of 68.
I was fine with Alabama going to the NIT. They've overachieved and were 15 minutes of bad basketball away from winning an SEC Crown. Never in my wildest dreams did I see the Tide going to the dance or even the NIT before the season began.
But all this was before Gene Smith messed up for the second time this week, leaving the likes of Alabama, Va. Tech and Colorado out of the NCAA Tournament in place of UAB, Clemson, USC or VCU. Its really inexplicable to comprehend how this came about. I don't even think UAB or VCU were having viewing parties of the tournament. Even IVY League co-champ Harvard should be in before that group. It makes no sense.
Alabama is what it is. A team that struggled in non-conference, as was anticipated by acute Tide hoops observers. but they went 16-6 in their last 22 games, 4-4 vs the Top 50, finished 12-4 in conference, 2nd in the SEC. Compare that to UAB and Clemson, who did not beat a top 50 team. Their numbers were inflated because UAB played at Duke just to increase its RPI and Clemson played Duke atleast twice, maybe 3 times, nevermind the fact that none of the games were even close. VCU finished 4th in the Cololinal, including 3-5 in their Final 8 games, but winning doesn't count for anything.
As for Georgia, I felt they were a NCAA team, but not ahead of Alabama, after losing to the Tide twice in 6 days, wilting under UA's pressure in a Geogia Dome meltdown. The selection committee basically said winning doesn't matter.
Kudos to Jay Bilas and company for slamming the selection committee. The selection committee is way worst then the BCS fiasco. I guess its all about computers, specifically the RPI. I'm certain this has been the worst week of Gene Smith's professional life, hopefully he doesn't have any trees in his yard.
As for Alabama, its onto the NIT to face the Catamounts of Coastal Carolina and the corrupt Cliff Ellis comes to Tuscaloosa for another beat down. 'Bama has a great chance to get to New York, considering they don't have to leave Coleman Coliseum. I'm sure Anthony Grant will get this team off the deck and come out fighting. Since all seats at Coleman are general admission for the NIT and the students are away at Spring Break, it will be interesting to see what kind of crowds they can generate.
As for the NCAA Tournament, I will be basketball free except for the Temple games, Go Owls!