Tension will mount in NCAA Tournament selection room


Indianapolis — For one more day of my charmed life I get to be Joe Lunardi with better hair. Except Lunardi just projects the NCAA Tournament field. In tandem with Mike Waters of the Syracuse Post-Dispatch, I get to be one of the 10 tandems filling in for one of the selection committee’s members.

Our final exercise Thursday night involved what's called, "scrubbing the seeds.”

The chairman starts with the No. 1 overall seed, in this case Indiana, compares it to the No. 2, Miami (Fla.), with their credentials put side-by-side on the wall. We didn’t go through the whole field that way, but the tournament committee, which has five days of meetings compared to our two, does. Duke, the third No. 1 seed, survived a comparison against Florida, the fourth No. 1.

After a comparison between Florida and the top No. 2 seed, Michigan State, those schools swapped places. Since Michigan State moved up a spot, it then was compared to Duke, but didn’t get moved past the Blue Devils.

During the scrubbing process, every team moved up a spot gets compared to the team now in front of it and every team that moves down a spot is compared to the team now behind it.

“Some years you’ll see a team just start dropping,” said tournament selection committee chairman Mike Bobinski, Xavier University’s athletic director. “One year a team dropped down an elevator shaft. It dropped about 20 spots.”

Kansas, seeded third, could move up or down during the scrubbing process. Also, since the fake conference tournament final isn’t until today (it’s a KU vs. Kansas State fake final), that result could rock the boat as well.

By the end of today’s session, in a window-less room full of snacks and hacks, we’ll have a mock tournament bracket.

If history is an accurate indicator, the room will grow most tense when the final spot or spots are debated.

Once shown how the bracketing process works, we will be armed to debunk myths, assured David Worlock of the NCAA.

For example, he said if a UCLA-Pittsburgh match-up happens at some point in the tournament, it won’t be because the bracket was rigged for the drama of control-freak (my words, not his) UCLA coach Ben Howland facing his former school.

“CBS does not have any input,” Worlock said. “TNT doesn’t have a say. It just doesn’t happen that way.”

They aren’t in the room.

For one more day, if only in fantasy land, I will have more power than TV networks. I’m in the room, encouraged to speak up. They’re on the outside, eating ice cream.


JayDocMD 9 years, 9 months ago

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JayDocMD 9 years, 9 months ago

Well that didn't take long. I wasn't sure if that one would stay up or not - knew it was 50-50.

jaybate 9 years, 9 months ago

jaybate News Service (ins)


SLUG: Violence Breaks Out at Mock Draft...

Part 1

jns stringers report that Tom Keegan was assaulted by Joe Lunardi over a ranking dispute. Lunardi drew a switch blade on Keegan, because Keegan said that Lunardi's number one seed, Miami, was a flash in the pan that would turn into cold, limp spermicelli by March.

The altercation expanded when Keegan defended himself by bashing Lunardi in the temple with Keegan's custom keyboard with the shamrock key.

This lead to Jason King jumping on to Keegan's shoulders and screaming, "You putz!!! Why wouldn't you hire me? All I ever wanted was Gary Bedore's beat covering KU basketball. Don't you understand? Even though I've hit the big time, I never wanted that. You ruined my life and I hate your ranking of Syracuse!!!!"

Conservatively attired Holly Rowe tried to step in between the angry parties, but Digger Phelps took his cherry Danish and stuffed it in Rowe's face, shouting, "I was a basketball coach once! I am sick and tired of you knowing more about the game than I do."

The 5-1 Rowe wheeled and threw a haymaker right just missing Phelps, but catching 6-9 Jay Bilas below the belt.

Bilas gasping, fell into a Bunn Coffee maker spilling scalding hot coffee into the lap of Jason Whitlock, who gasped and spit out a turkey drum stick he was gnoshing on.

The turkey drum stick flew two tables over and hit a passed out Bill Rafftery's hand still clutching a double Bloody Mary that spilled on to a ranking sheet being filled out by Bruce Pearle who leaped up and leveled a 9mm Baretta at Mitch Albom and said, "How would you like to spend Sundays in the morgue with Morrie?"

At this point, a local police swat team entered the ranking room and started tasering anyone acting peacefully, which caused outrage among Blue State assets infiltrated into the mock ranking meeting in hopes of making all of the Number 1 seeds be schools from Blue States.

Red State assets began fleeing the ranking room and speed dialing the targeting coordinates of the ranking room to President Obama in hopes he would impulsively direct a drone strike on the ranking room that would wipe out all the Blue State assets and give him an excuse to invade Iran.

Obama's national security team was quick to detect the ruse, and instead ordered red state assets abducted and put on rendition flights to Gitmo.

jaybate 9 years, 9 months ago

Part 2

At this point, dark forces with out known affiliations but believed by jns stringers to represent Berkshire Hathaway began trying to buy the NCAA national basketball tournament to fold in with Berkshire's recent Heinz acquisition with the intent of rebranding March Madness as The Ketchup Classic.

In minutes, a dispute erupted among Berkshire investment analysts infiltrated into the mock ranking session as honorary journalists and broadcasters and Heinz executives, appearing out of the blue without cover stories, arose over how to spell catsup. Buffet preferred 'catsup,' while Heinz executives argued that the only way to protect the brand was to stay with ketchup.

While this was all going on Keegan and Lunardi made up, when Lunardi offered Keegan not one but three bowls of gelato tutu fruitti and Rowe peeled out of a conservative business suit revealing a black leather pant suit and Cat Woman ears and began cracking a leather bull whip shouting, "Get back to mock ranking these teams, or you'll all have to answer to Mistress Holly!!!"

As of now, there is absolutely no confirmation from a second source of what jns stringers report.

Dislaimer: jns stringers are notoriously unreliable and are in most cases drop outs of Krinklebein's OnLine Journalism Academy.


(Note: all fiction. No malice.)

jaybate 9 years, 9 months ago

Well, of course, this will be done.

I would say zero chance of it not being done.

jaybate 9 years, 9 months ago

Tongue in cheek of course. Who knows?

texashawk10 9 years, 9 months ago

Doubtful Missouri even gets that high. They're projected as an 8 seed right now by Joe Lunardi and Jerry Palm and they only have two RPI top 50 wins on the year with only 2 RPI top 50 games left (Florida and @Kentucky) and Missouri could finish anywhere from 2nd to as low as 7th or 8th in the SEC this year. I would say best bet to see a KU-Missouri second round NCAA tournament game would be if Missouri ends up a 10 seed and KU a 2 seed.

SaltLakeHawk 9 years, 9 months ago

Give Missouri credit. I, for one, wish them good luck in pursuit of yet another Elite 8 for their dominant program.

JZee 9 years, 9 months ago

jaybate just stop it ,your killing me

Jeff Coffman 9 years, 9 months ago

After this experiment; how will you explain the "myth" that there is a bias towards the ACC? You've given a pretty down conference two #1 seeds, when some would argue they shouldn't have any with the strength of the Big Ten and Big East this year. I would have preferred the Michigan State take the #1 over Duke or Miami rather than the Florida. Well and how did the Big East not get any #1 seeds?

I'm confused.

texashawk10 9 years, 9 months ago

Syracuse is the only Big East team that will be in contention for a 1 seed and if they sweep the regular season and go reach the Big East title game, they very well could get a 1 seed because they still have 2 with Georgetown left, and games with Marquette and Louisville along with the Big East tournament and if Syracuse ends up 30-4 or 29-5 then I could see Syracuse as a 1 seed.

As for right now, I'm good with the current 1 seeds. Duke has neutral court wins over Kentucky, Minnesota, VCU, Temple, and Louisville who are all at large teams right now and a home win over Ohio St. in their non-conference to go along with a 22-2 record right now. That is the resume of a 1 seed. Miami on the other hand doesn't have a great non-conference resume with a home win over Michigan St. as the only win of note, but they way they are blowing away the ACC this year, they are deserving of a 1 seed for right now. If Miami ends up losing to Duke at Cameron and again to Duke in the ACC title game, then Miami probably slides down to a 2 seed and Florida, Michigan St. Michigan, or even a Gonzaga could slide into a 1 seed.

Tony Bandle 9 years, 9 months ago

I've got a better idea.

1] Get 17 dart boards, each with four different color quadrants, numbered 1,2,3,4.

2] Then take the names of the teams with the four best records and using that descending criteria break up the darts into 17 groups of four teams.

3] Then toss the darts to determine the seeding order on each board. 1 through 16 with the last board being the play-in schools. First dart in a color stays, others have to be retossed.

4] Match up the four colors on each board and, voila, the seeding is done , the Regionals are set and everybody can go home!!

No automatic bids, no special considerations, no this any more ridiculous than what they do now??

Tony Bandle 9 years, 9 months ago

PS To make it more fair, spin the boards and blindfold the tossers!!

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