View Full Version : The real NCAA problem

Olympic Fan
05-30-2008, 09:14 AM
In reference to the Barry Jacobs article linked on the first page, I like several of his points, but I think his argument is fatally flawed its reliance on the views of Craig Littlepage.

Littlepage was recently on the NCAA Men's Basketball Committee (which is the tournament selection committee) and was, in fact, chairman of the committee in 2006, when the ACC got just four bids. As I'm reading Barry's article, I'm hearing the same pious propaganda that Littlepage -- and other committee chairmen -- spew every year when suddenly he says:

-- Crafting a strong slate of nonconference opponents is a must, especially since the effects of playing in a tough league can be diluted, [Littlepage] said. “You can be a member of a conference like the Pac-10, for example, and if your conference schedule does not have you playing the better schools on your conference schedule, that may minimize what being in that conference might do for you."

Nice example -- except the Pac 10 plays a full, round-robin conference schedule! That says something about how well-informed the members of the committee are.

Last year, the ACC played a BETTER non-conference schedule than any other conference -- almost twice as many matchups with other BCS schools than the Pac 10 ... the ACC had winning overall records in a significant number of games with the SEC, Big Ten and Big East -- yet now they suggest that the ACC needs to beef up its non-conference schedules.

The ACC was hurt by the PERCEPTION that it was a mediocre league, while the Pac 10 was boosted by PERCEPTION that it was strong. So when the ACC teams beat each other, it was a sign that they were mediocre. When the Pac 10 beat each other, it was touted as a sign that the league was incredibly strong and deep.

Yet, when you look at it dispassionately, the ACC was more successful in non conference play than the Pac 10!

05-30-2008, 11:17 AM
It's true that the ACC was very good last year and I know it had the highest RPI against other conferences, but i don't think that any other ACC teams really deserved bids. The reason that the conference only got four bids even though the ACC was so good is that the talent in the ACC was stacked towards the top. In ACC play, UNC was 14-2, Duke was 13-3, and Clemson went 10-6, while Virginia Tech went 9-7 but also dropped 6 games out of conference. None of the other 8 teams managed to even break .500. Talent in the PAC-10 was pretty even, with 4 teams going over .500 in conference, 2 at exactly .500, and four going under. In other words, the strength of Duke and UNC, who only lost one out of conference game between the two of them and one or two other schools compensated for a weak group at the bottom of the conference. I don't really buy that Maryland or Virginia Tech was cheated out of a tournament appearance.

05-30-2008, 12:00 PM
The argument made by ACC coaches is that the overall league schedule is tougher and there are no Oregon State 0-18 teams. That was two wins for each PAC 10 team. That said, ACC teams need to schedule a better mix of OOC teams and win a high percentage of these games with no bad losses. If they do that, then a good case can be made for an 8-8 team making the NCAAT. I agree with Olympic’s view of Littlepage who is beyond his depth when discussing the tournament selection relative to the ACC.


05-30-2008, 12:05 PM
I think that ACC teams need to realize that they're gonna have to beat some top 50 teams out of conference and win more than they lose in conference. Of course, beating Duke or UNC always helps too.