Wednesday, May 27, 2009
The NCAA's Shameful Picks
UC Irvine was the Number One team in the land. They play in the nations toughest conference that got two national seeds including them. They cruised through the conference with only two losses. They are truly a great team.
So, when the NCAA tournament pairing came out...you'd think that they would get a favorable regional. Oh...that's right...this is the NCAA and it's "new" selection committee we are talking about...Logic doesn't come into play when they are in charge.
Number One Irvine is in the same regional as the ACC's post season tourney winner, Virgina, who gets to face the nations freakish number one pitcher in Steven Strasburg and San Diego State. Irvine meanwhile has to face last years national champ in Fresno State...who has been playing inspired ball as of late and is on a mission a la 2008. Don't ever count out Mendonca and the Bulldogs. Coach Batesole knows how to coach and his players love listening to him.
Actually Irvine should not be as ticked off as Virginia. They win the ACC post season tourney...arguably a top 4 conference and this is their reward??? I have seen Steven Strasburg and I wouldn't give Virginia much of a chance against him. In fact, I wouldn't even waste my number one against him. Save him for the elimination game.
The NCAA selection committee is led by Big 12 representative Tim Weiser. In a commentary by Kendall Rogers of Rivals College baseball, the Weiser led group "wasn’t immune to blunders, controversy and downright shameful selections."
Kendall goes on to state..."The committee, though, threw everyone for a loop by including Baylor and Oklahoma State – two bad and undeserving teams – in the regional field."
"Baylor finished the Big 12 tournament with a solid 2-1 record, but its play in Oklahoma City last week certainly didn’t warrant a bid when you consider how the Bears finished the regular season. In addition to getting swept by a horrible Nebraska team to finish the regular season, the Bears also lost 10 straight conference games to end the season. Yeah, a nice new school record for the regional-worthy Bears, right? Hardly."
Rogers is right in that Baylor's three straight losses to a horrific Nebraska team should have been a season ender right there. This is the same Nebraska team that lost two of three at home to an even worse Cal State Bakersfield team that is in it's first year of collegiate baseball ever.
But, (un)Weiser is a Big 12 apologist...making all sorts of excusues why Baylor and Oklahoma State were worthy...none of them making much sense...but he is the leader of the committee and he sure got his way.
More deserving teams were Missouri State, Dallas Baptist and Rhode Island. However, those teams aren't in power conferences (DB is independent) and they didn't get the benefit of the doubt. I understand that, but still...Baylor was 10-16 in conference and Oklahoma State was 9-16. The Big 12 is a good conference, but not that good to warrant a tourney bid with a bad losing conference record.
One team that is in a Power Conference that got snubbed is UC Riverside. Their 33-20 record and 4th place finish (12-12) in the Nations Top Conference evidently wasn't enough. They were 3-1 against the Big 12 and clobbered Oklahoma State 7-0 at a neutral site (Palm Springs). (If Okie St was in the Big West, that shut-out would have been a recurring theme for the Cowboys...which would have made this years bottom feeders Davis and Pacific feel a little better about themselves.)
Riverside finished off the season with a great series win against Cal Poly...a team that DID get in...and the weekend prior they took two of three from a tough Santa Barbara team. While their RPI wasn't great (77), the more accurate and logical ISR posted in Boyds World has UCR at a 27 ISR.
One of these days, the committee will recognize the Big West as the top conference that it is. It is shameful as Kendall Rogers states "to leave out deserving teams from deserving conferences" over two "homer" picks in a vastly overrated Big 12.
Maybe the Big West should chair the selection committee next year...The thing is...they wouldn't be shameless enough to award their own conference teams that didn't deserve to be there. Play-offs are not an entitlement...you have to earn your way in...Baylor and Ok St. posted sub .500 records and didn't take care of business. The way we see it, both OK. St and Baylor should be sending nice fruit baskets to Mr. Weiser for the overly generous hand-outs they received.