Monday, March 16, 2015

Here's what LadySwish has to say about the NCAA Tournament

JMU celebrates its CAA title.
Congrats to James Madison (29-3) and Liberty, NCAA Tournament-bound. JMU, a 12 seed, meets Ohio State, a No. 5, on Saturday at 1:30 p.m. in Chapel Hill. Same site for the No. 13 Lady Flames (26-6), who will play host No. 4 North Carolina at 5 p.m. Saturday.

Game talk later. Bracket thoughts here.

*We don't like to get too caught up in seeds; it's about match ups, and Ohio State's up-and-down style might suit the transition-happy Dukes. But, really, a 12? For a 29-3 team? Supposin' the Dukes hadn't beaten Hofstra in the CAA title game on Sunday, what would happen? We know the answer. JMU would be in the WNIT.

*It's all about who you beat not who you lose to. Problem is, Kenny Brooks will tell you, is that when he picks up the phone, nobody wants to schedule JMU. What incentive is there for the so-called Power 5 to play anyone outside of the so-called Power 5? Then, gasp, we might have some, shall we say it? parity in the game.

*Another thought on that. When Old Dominion was a mainstay in this thing, you remember the Lady Monarchs non-conference schedule, don't you? ODU's storied history and Wendy Larry's connections were invaluable when it came to scheduling the top teams. Makes you wonder why Wendy was dismissed in such a shoddy manner.

*Princeton got screwed. My son asked me why they weren't a 1 seed at 30-0 like Wichita State was in
the men's field last year. Now we're not suggesting Princeton be a 1, but an 8 seed for a team that has gone unbeaten with an attractive RPI is more than a slight. Did the Tigers truly not earn the right to host home games on their own court? Wichita State was rewarded on the men's side last year because the Shockers had gotten to the Final Four the year before; they proved they belonged with the big dogs. How the hell can a quality women's team outside of the Power 5 prove it belongs?

*Speaking of the right to host, Cal and Stanford earned that? Eighteen losses among the two? Kansas (15-17) dumped Cal 62-39, and the Bears were also beaten by 15-15 USC. Yada, yada, yada, Stanford beat UConn. We know. They lost to Chattanooga. They lost to 13-17 Oregon. They're hosting.

*Princeton vs. Green Bay is mid-major vs. mid-major crime. We'll hear the tired refrain of mid-majors failing to advance to the Sweet 16 by Rebecca Lobo and crew. The committee is knocking them out by pitting them against one another. Just ask Gonzaga, which lost to JMU last year in the first round.

*Would love to see Liberty vs. JMU.

*Must ESPN drone on with features and UConn gushing prior to unveiling the full bracket? We got three weeks to talk about Geno. Tell us who is playing who by 7:30.

*The fact that the women's game has gone back to the top 16 hosting is a huge blow to the so-called mid-major programs. Remember when Delaware hosted a few years ago, taking down West Virginia and North Carolina? The Bob was sold out. That great Delaware team would not have been given that same opportunity if we put that same team and same record in 2015 with top 16 hosting. Isn't the plan to grow the game? How? The game is grown in Storrs and Knoxville.

*We've used the word mid-major a bunch of times already for purposes of clarity. But we want to make this crystal clear. Mid-major is a term that simply should be abolished. JMU would kill so-called "majors" such as Virginia Tech, Alabama and Missouri, to name just a very few. UConn isn't in a Power 5 conference; are they a mid-major? All these teams are playing Division I basketball. Some, however, are treated like they belong in a second tier, an inferior sport.

*The truth is the women's tournament belongs on a neutral court. All of it. Every game. When you sacrifice results for attendance, it's an insult to the coaches and athletes who earn the right to compete fairly for a national championship.

*Go Dukes! Go Lady Flames! We're rooting hard for you guys.

1 comment:

  1. This selection committee should be ashamed of itself! The Princeton seeding itself shows that those NCAA ads about student-athletes who 'go pro in something other than sports' is just a bunch of high-priced PR hot air. JMU got an awful seed, no doubt, but has a favorable match up (as does Liberty) with a 'power' conference team with an inflated seed. They are so much better off than Princeton and GW.

    This (lack of) leadership from the committee is so disappointing to those of us who want to see a brighter, more sustainable future in this sport.