There is no K-State news other than that which we already covered last night, all of which is linked to below. As such, today's Rewind will double as today's Slate. Comment at will, citizens.
Basketball has spent two weeks sorting through the chaff, in some cases handing teams passes to the biggest stage and in others ending their seasons entirely. You know, sort of like suddenly and with a press release happened to K-State last night, although in the vast majority of cases it was more simple: a loss to end a miserable season.
Last night, we provided you with the NCAA Tournament bracket and the NIT bracket. (And JT provided you with the details of our official bracket contest, where -- just like college -- you'll only be playing for the love of the game rather than for wealth). There were some serious head-scratchers in the former; we're still waiting for someone to explain how Tulsa and Syracuse ended up in the NCAA field and why the top seeds in the NIT didn't. Tulsa, for their part, hadn't even gathered the team together for a watch party; if they didn't even think they had a shot at being called, what was the committee thinking?
John Calipari, speaking to ESPN in the middle of their surprising hour-long attack on the selection committee, elucidated the main issue although he was trying to explain why he thinks Kentucky only got a four seed rather than addressing the matter of mid-major representation. Every year, we hear a different story from the committee on what's important. Monmouth did what the committee has previously said to do: schedule hard, play on the road, win games. But this year, suddenly, the criteria changed. Top 50 wins, no matter where they happened, were what got Tulsa into the field.
It's absurd. But what's possibly more absurd is that ESPN went insane, ranting about Monmouth and Valparaiso and Saint Bonaventure being snubbed... yet when you go look at the NIT schedule, any guess as to which ESPN network those teams will be playing their first-round NIT games?
They won't, at least not on your television. Three teams that ESPN thinks deserved the spotlight of playing in the NCAA tournament don't even rate actual broadcast airtime on ESPN's cable networks. Valpo's on ESPN3 Tuesday so ESPN2 can give us Washington-Long Beach State. Monmouth and the Bonnies play the early games on Wednesday; they're on ESPN3 because ESPN2 is giving us Georgia-Belmont and ESPNU is feeding us Virginia Tech-Princeton.
Hypocrisy, thy name is television.
Understand, in real terms this isn't that much of a problem, although the majority of people are still going to be more inclined to watch games they can access on television and the relegation to ESPN3 means those games won't be splattered across televisions in bars and restaurants. It's the perception that matters here. You can't, as a network, be taken seriously when your journalistic and analytic talent are visibly outraged over snubs when your beancounters turn right around and snub the same teams.
Sunday's Men's Results
Connecticut took care of any possible question regarding their candidacy by routing Memphis in the American final, and in the process probably pulled Cincinnati (remember, four overtimes) into the tournament with them. Arkansas-Little Rock, early-season darlings as one of the last unbeaten teams, emphatically declared their worthiness with a 20-point win over Louisiana-Monroe.
The other three men's finals on the day were all basically meaningless, as all six teams were locks. Two of them, however, were upsets: Saint Joe's manhandled VCU while Kentucky dragged A&M into overtime before putting them away.
|AMERICAN MEN'S BASKETBALL TOURNAMENT|
|FINAL||(5) Connecticut 72, (6) Memphis 58||Dedric Lawson (MEM), 21|
|ATLANTIC 10 MEN'S BASKETBALL TOURNAMENT|
|FINAL||(4) Saint Joseph's (PA) 87, (2) Virginia Commonwealth 74||DeAndre' Bembry (SJU), 30|
|BIG TEN MEN'S BASKETBALL TOURNAMENT|
|FINAL||(2) Michigan State 66, (5) Purdue 62||Vince Edwards (PUR), 19|
|SEC MEN'S BASKETBALL TOURNAMENT|
|FINAL||(2) Kentucky 82, (1) Texas A&M 77 (OT)||Danuel House (A&M), 32|
|SUN BELT MEN'S BASKETBALL TOURNAMENT|
|FINAL||(1) Arkansas-Little Rock 70, (2) Louisiana-Monroe 50||Roger Woods (UALR), 19|
Sunday's Women's Results
Six top-seeded teams had the chance to salt away their prizes Sunday. Half did, with UNC-Asheville, Green Bay, and Central Arkansas ensuring they'll hear their names later today. For Sacred Heart, Northern Iowa, and Florida Gulf Coast, it's a different story. Only the latter really has a shot of sneaking into the NCAA Tournament; in Charlie Creme's final bracketology update, FGCU is the last team in the field, pushing Iowa out.
For Robert Morris, Missouri State, and Jacksonville, though... it's party time. They no longer have anything over which to be concerned.
|ATLANTIC SUN WOMEN'S BASKETBALL TOURNAMENT|
|FINAL||(2) Jacksonville 56, (1) Florida Gulf Coast 54||Kaneisha Atwater (FGCU), 22|
|BIG SOUTH WOMEN'S BASKETBALL TOURNAMENT|
|FINAL||(1) North Carolina-Asheville 64, (2) Liberty 62 (2OT)||Ashley Rininger (LIB), 22|
|HORIZON LEAGUE WOMEN'S BASKETBALL TOURNAMENT|
|FINAL||(1) Wisconsin-Green Bay 64, (2) Wisconsin-Milwaukee 32||Tesha Buck (UWGB), 14|
|MISSOURI VALLEY WOMEN'S BASKETBALL TOURNAMENT|
|FINAL||(3) Missouri State 71, (1) Northern Iowa 58||Tyonna Snow (MSU), 17
Madison Weekly (UNI), 17
|NORTHEAST CONFERENCE WOMEN'S BASKETBALL TOURNAMENT|
|FINAL||(3) Robert Morris (PA) 56, (1) Sacred Heart 51||Ashley Ravelli (RMU), 14|
|SOUTHLAND WOMEN'S BASKETBALL TOURNAMENT|
|FINAL||(1) Central Arkansas 69, (7) Sam Houston State 62||Angela Beadle (SHSU), 25|
Monday's Men's Schedule
Yes, Virginia, there is basketball tonight. No, Virginia's not playing.
The CollegeInsider.com Tournament begins tonight, but don't worry: nobody was taken by surprise here. The CIT arranged the four involved teams back on Friday, so they've had plenty of time to travel. Both games feature HBCUs; the Grand Canyon-South Carolina State game doubles as the inaugural John McLendon Classic, a game which the CIT will use to spotlight the legacy of black coaches in college basketball. The title honoree of the game, John McLendon, coached at various HBCUs in a nearly thirty-year career.
|R1||6:30pm||Jackson State||at||Sam Houston State||Huntsville TX||Sidearm|
|R1||9:00pm||South Carolina State||at||Grand Canyon||Phoenix AZ||CBSSN|