The NCAA Tournament was just announced and once again the Selection Committee had another regrettable performance. The “Dutch Lion” is mad! Mad from anger. Madness abounds! And it’s March. As Shakespeare would say, “The Ides of March” is upon us. In fact, the Tourney begins on “The Ides of March” which is Thursday, March 15. (Don’t believe those “First Four” games are a thing on Tuesday and Wednesday. If they were real they wouldn’t be on TruTV. They’re just cheap play-in games.) I love quoting Shakespeare. It makes me sound much smarter than I truly am.
St. Mary’s was left out? That’s March Madness alright. I’m furious for St. Mary’s. Say it ain’t so Joe. Gimme a simple answer Dutch…….why was St. Mary’s hosed?
- Three words…… East Coast Bias.
- Gimme three more words……. Small School Bias.
- How about three more?………. Strength of Schedule.
- Anything else? Well, how about this one? Is the Selection Committee anti-Catholic? (Pay no attention to the fact that Villanova, Providence, Xavier, Gonzaga, Creighton, Davidson, Seton Hall, St. Bonaventure, and Loyola (IL) made the Big Dance) Man! Those Catholics can play ball!!!! Lipscomb is Christian too (Church of Christ). So is Iona (Congregation of Christian Brothers-affiliated). Meanwhile, I’ve got a “Job” to do and that is to prove something about the anti-Catholic scheming going on. Oh yeah, how about Notre Dame?!? That’s right, ND wasn’t included either. What do you say about that, Committee!?!) (I hope everyone knows I’m kidding about the anti-Catholic bias. However, I maintain St. Mary’s was royally/sacrilegiously/blasphemously hosed! (See below for more details)
Historic big names made it while the others were left in the dust.
“Dust N’ Bones”, “Dusty Baker”, “Dusty Rhodes”, “Dust-Buster?”, “From Dusk Til Dawn”…..wait. Never mind. Can I get an ‘Amen’ reverend? Sure he said, “Gimme me a Bible and I’ll quote you some scripture from Genesis or Ecclesiastes.
“All come from dust and to dust all return” – Ecclesiastes 3:20
I wonder how good ol’ Saint Mary feels about this??? To paraphrase Saint Mary, “It’s Providence my people.” What!?! How does St. Ignatius of Loyola feel about this??? “We deserve this for God (check that) goshsakes. I mean, it’s been 33 years since we’ve been involved. Not that we’re “holier than thou” or anything. Now you better make it a double for I’ve got a long drive ahead.”
What in the name of St. Thomas of Villanova have I gotten myself into here, thou asketh? In other words, “What the hell (check that…..well it’s fine, this one time) is goin’ on out here?”, Vince Lombardi wondered. (Vince attended Fordham, another Jesuit school not included in this year’s Tournament).
This is just insanity. I mean, the “Dutch Lion” has a “Job” to do and “Revelations” to reveal. Heaven help us. As Charles Barkley on TBS would say, “Jesus is rollin’ over in his grave since St. Mary’s was left out”. (Is that too much? I mean, am I in trouble for that one oh Lord?…..or is it good that I’m advertising for you in this holy Lenten season? I mean, it’s possible that people will now look up the Easter story. Perhaps they never knew, have now read the “Dutch Lion’s” column, and are now believers in the Resurrection). “Rollin’ over in his grave” is a warped translation of “Jesus rose from the dead and rolled the tombstone away”. Hey Mom, what do you think? You’re the Sunday School teacher here, not me, or ahem, the “Dutch Lion”. And who wants some frozen pizza!
Where was I again? Oh yeah, basketball! Precisely, basketball RPI. “RPI” stands for Ratings Percentage Index. I personally value, let me rephrase, I highly value RPI. It’s a tried and true system that has worked for decades. Using http://www.realtimeRPI.com, let’s conduct a very scientific analysis.
RPI: St. Mary’s (40th)
NCAA Tournament teams with RPI’s lower than St. Mary’s. I count 13 at-large teams:
- Butler (41st)
- Alabama (42nd)
- Creighton (43rd)
- Missouri (44th)
- Syracuse (45th)
- Florida (46th)
- Oklahoma (49th)
- Texas (51st)
- Kansas St. (53rd)
- Florida St. (54th)
- Virginia Tech (62nd)
- N.C. State (64th)
- Arizona St. (66th)
St. Mary’s (28-5) deserved a spot in the Tournament. They split their two games with fellow Catholic school and West Coast Conference Champion Gonzaga (30-4), who has an RPI of 21st. St. Mary’s beat New Mexico St. (35th, automatic bid) by 18 points. They beat BYU (67th) two out of three times. They lost to Georgia (79th). St. Mary’s had a weak strength of schedule (168th). Those were their only 7 games vs RPI Top 100 teams. But they did go 4-3 in those 7 games. Not bad. In fact, pretty good. In their other 26 games, they went 24-2. Simply, they went 24-2 vs “easy” opponents and 4-3 vs tougher opponents including 1-1 vs last year’s NCAA Runner-Up. In my book, that is more than enough to deserve one of the 36 at-large bids. C’mon Selection Committee! You stunk on this one. Just admit it. The “Dutch Lion” deserves an apology for your malfeasance.
Other teams that were HOSED:
- Middle Tennessee St. (33rd)
- USC (34th) – How did Arizona St. (66th) get in over USC who advanced all the way to the Pac 12 Championship Tournament game? USC was 23-11, but just 2-6 vs Top 50 opponents. Meanwhile, ASU was 20-11, 4-2 vs Top 50 with huge wins over #3 Xavier and at #5 Kansas. ASU did win the one head-to-head matchup 80-78 in Tempe, AZ. Ultimately, those Top 5 wins plus the H2H victory over Southern Cal put them in the field. Personally, I would’ve voted for USC or for both, leaving out N.C. State, Virginia Tech, or Texas. I’m definitely a big fan of Bobby Hurley (Head Coach of ASU) and maybe those two top 5 wins are more than enough.
- Louisville (38th)
- Western Kentucky (39th)
As Dick Vitale tweeted:
I couldn’t agree more Dickie V! The NCAA Tournament Selection Committee is a sham!
Oh well. Nonetheless, I’m pumped as always. “The Ides of March” is upon us. Who is the “Dutch Lion” picking this year? I think you all know. “V” is for Victory!
Good luck with your pools. And oh yeah, those 9 Catholic schools that made the tournament……….pay no attention to them, or “the man” (the NCAA Selection Committee) behind the curtain. 😉