I'm With Dick This Morning
Well hey, I agree with Dick Jerardi, who, SURPRISINGLY, defends Nova against the NCAA zealots who, despite Nova’s bracket being a favorable one, seemingly made every attempt to screw them in an effort to protect North Carolina.
Why did they flip regions for Xavier and Villanova when keeping them near home would have balanced the bracket and given both site advantages they earned with No. 2 seeds?
Kansas was No. 1 on the 68-team seed list, so Xavier as No. 8 would have fit perfectly in the South region in Louisville. Villanova was No. 7 and seemed a perfect seed fit in the East at Wells Fargo Center for North Carolina, which was No. 2 overall. So why is Xavier in the East and Villanova in the South?
Is the committee trying not to put schools from football conferences at a potential site disadvantage as higher seeds? The rules have always been that results can’t be anticipated, so if a team earns a site, it gets it, even if a higher seed might potentially be at a disadvantage later in the tournament.
Finally, a salient point from Dick. It’s so painfully obvious that the NCAA selection committee didn’t want to “punish” North Carolina by having them face Villanova in a potential Elite 8 game on what is basically Villanova’s home floor. But demz da breaks. Villanova played three games at the Wells Fargo Center this season, below the limit for deeming the WFC its “home court” for tournament purposes. They played by the rules. They earned the seventh overall seed, which, per conventions, should’ve put them as the two seed in the East. If the committee was going by location – which is often the fallback when doling out seeds and placements – then Nova obviously should’ve been in the East. So Dick’s conclusion is right– the committee wanted to protect North Carolina from playing Nova on the road. I can almost understand it if North Carolina was the runaway best team in the country. But they weren’t. They lost six games. Four since the start of February. I’m not saying Nova is better than them – they’re probably not – but North Carolina didn’t necessarily go above and beyond to deserve preferential treatment, other than being “North Carolina.”
But this is all nothing compared to St. Joe’s – who played very well down the stretch and won their conference – getting sent to Spokane, where a potential second round matchup against Oregon looms. That’s just cruel, and unfair. Kumbaya, St. Joe’s. Kumbaya.