Nothing particularly coherent. Just the jumble trying to work through after a week of basketball and then the NCAA Tournament field (and NIT) being set.
Let’s all give a big cheer for the NIT having a fantastic sense of humor. Days after Syracuse Coach Jim Boeheim, in a post game press conference, went off on the uselessness of Greensboro, NC as a site for the ACC Tournament (he’s not wrong). Followed by Greensboro’s twitter feed dropping the mike. And just for good measure, the minor league team piling on. The NIT gave the #1 overall seed a home game with UNC-Greensboro. It is truly an amazing thing when the NIT can actually pull a significant amount of attention from the NCAA Tournament bracket.
No CBI worries for Pitt. A team with mainly seniors and looking at a ton of roster turnover, would get no value in something like the CBI. And let’s face it, no one presently on or coaching this team wants to go back on the court.
As for the NCAA Tournament and bracket. About the only team that I feel got screwed out of a bid would be Illinois State. But otherwise, not much to complain regarding the teams in the field.
No real problem with the top two seed lines either. After that, things get interesting. It was surprising how much weight appeared to be placed on the record of teams in conference. In theory that should be the way it is, with much better competition and harder to pad records. But in this day of unbalanced scheduling because of the size of most major conferences, that can be significantly misleading.
Dayton and Wichita State as a 7-10 match-up is the biggest stunner. One because WSU was so low in seed, then to have them face each other — with the winner getting Kentucky. Both Archie Miller and Gregg Marshall were considered more likely to stay at their respective schools through this coaching carousel cycle. You have to wonder, though, with the way they got placed in the NCAA Tournament if they don’t take another look at some of the open positions.
Shocked that Florida State still landed a #3 seed (going back to that whole unbalanced schedule producing a pretty record). I thought they should have been a #5 seed. They start the Tourney against Florida Gulf Coast so there will be some trendy upset picking with that game. FSU probably got bumped up a seed to keep them from facing another ACC team in the first weekend.
Miami-Michigan State is a great match-up between coaches. Larranaga-Izzo. It won’t be a pretty game, but it will be interesting.
Still trying to understand how South Carolina as a #7 seed gets to play in South Carolina in the first weekend. Not that they will get past Duke if they win their first game, but still.
If you are looking at coaching changes, the only openings in the Power 5 conferences are NC State, LSU, Missouri and now Illinois.
All four of those jobs have some good history and even some level of recent success. There are factors that should make the jobs seem attractive. Yet, when you start ranking them in their own conference, they are essentially no better than middle-of-the-pack in terms of desirability and potential.
There is no question you can win there. But there is nothing providing any inherent advantages to the jobs over most of the other gigs within their respective conferences. Its why you see so many of the highly sought, highly thought of mid-major coaches stick with where they are. The money may be bigger at first, but will they get the same potential longevity, and do they wait for the really high ceiling jobs to come open? It really is tougher for the power five schools to find that next really good coach — who is willing to leave a good gig.
Illinois fired Bruce Weber five years ago (it seemed, rightfully so), but had only made the NCAA once under Jim Groce. Weber to his credit hasn’t been bad at K-State. Getting to the Tourney three times since being pushed out of Illinois — not great, either, just “slightly above average.”
Bruce Pearl at Auburn has improved slightly each year since taking over, but nothing like the way he did at Tennessee. Now he finds himself having to defend the progress when it is noted that he is 15-38 in the SEC.
Eleventh-seeded Auburn lost a 10-point lead and fell to No. 14 seed Missouri in overtime 86-83 at the SEC Tournament Wednesday night in Nashville, Tenn.
Pearl quickly made it clear that he’s not concerned about his job security on the Plains.
“If you want to put my ass on the hot seat, it’s not,” Pearl said.
Pearl, who signed the program’s first five-star prospects in freshmen Mustapha Heron and Austin Wiley, is 44-54 in three seasons at Auburn and 16-38 in SEC play. He finished 15-20 in his first season and 11-20 in his second. This year the Tigers (18-14) notched their first winning season since 2009.
Not only does Pearl feel good about the direction of the program, he doesn’t foresee making any changes to the staff next year.
“I think the staff is pretty solid,” he said. “I know the staff is solid from the standpoint of I’m pleased with my staff. All my assistants are ready to be head coaches. If that’s something that they desire and look to do this fall or spring, I will support them. My anticipation is it’ll have to be a pretty good job for them to leave. I think they’re excited about next year and sort of seeing this through.”
Auburn last made the NCAA Tournament in 2003, the longest active drought in the SEC, and the NIT in 2009.
Take the time to read this tremendous piece on bitter, old Bob Knight.
Per usual, a primary topic was the ACC Network, scheduled to launch in conjunction with ESPN as a linear channel in 2019.
Commissioner John Swofford, media consultant Dean Jordan and ESPN’s distribution team updated the ADs on revenue projections, the network’s essential component. The ACC’s most recent federal tax return, for 2014-15, showed an average per-school distribution of $26.2 million, but with the Southeastern Conference projecting $40 million-plus per school in fiscal 2015-16, and the Big Ten about $50 million in later years, the ACC is behind.
Babcock declined to share numbers, but Florida State athletic director Stan Wilcox told FSU’s Board of Trustees on Wednesday that the conference hopes for $8-10 million more per school in the network’s first year, $15-20 million more thereafter. This according to the Noles247 website.
“We typically talk about what other conferences are doing,” Babcock said, “and where we’re positioned well and where we have some catching up to do. … We don’t mind overachieving and doing all we can to win, but I wouldn’t mind (SEC- and Big Ten-level money) every year just by opening the mail, and hopefully the channel will give us the upside to do that. …
“I’m confident (ESPN) will figure it out, whatever television looks like. For as far as I can see, people still want to consume sports live. That’s the one thing.”
And when the ACC Network launches, expect ESPN and the conference to make sure some primo games air on the network to make sure people subscribe (or just complain loudly).
A glance at 2019 schedules reveals Virginia Tech and Clemson as likely candidates to play conference games on Week One.
Florida State, Miami, North Carolina, Louisville and Duke have marquee non-league games on the books that week against, respectively, Boise State, Florida, South Carolina, Purdue and Alabama. But Virginia Tech and Clemson are set to play Championship Subdivision opponents Furman and Wofford.
So don’t be surprised if those games get bumped to later in the season so the Hokies and Tigers can play league opponents that week, with one opening on Thursday, Aug. 29.
“You want to have a quality launch, and certainly games that are appealing are really important,” Swofford said, without offering details. “And not only in that particular year. … We are spending a lot of time talking about scheduling. …
“There are some concerns about those (FCS) games being frontloaded on everybody’s schedule. That’s probably not good going forward with our business decisions and scheduling decisions related to the channel.”
Don’t expect Pitt to be one of those marquee early games unless it turns out UCF has become really good — and popular. The Pitt-PSU game that year is in State College. And at this time, unless there is a reschedule, Pitt has all non-con games scheduled and set for 2019.