NCAA hearts a couple of teams – 2011 edition

The brackets are out for the 2011 NCAA Tournament.  Struck me as odd a couple of teams locations since the NCAA supposedly does not like giving teams a home court advantage.  Well, they did to a large degree.  How far would you drive on a whim to watch your team play in the tournament?  A couple of hours is no big deal.  Four or five makes it a little difficult.  Eight hours and you’re talking about missing work and finding babysitters.  Twelve hours?  Forget about it.  There’s a reason I ask that. Take a look at this little chart I put together:

Team Site Dist. Hours @ 50
Notre Dame Chicago, Illinois 95 2
Purdue Chicago, Illinois 124 2
North Carolina Charlotte, North Carolina 139 3
Duke Charlotte, North Carolina 142 3
Ohio State Cleveland, Ohio 143 3
Hampton Charlotte, North Carolina 157 3
Bucknell Washington, DC 185 4
Old Dominion Washington, DC 192 4
Georgia Charlotte, North Carolina 199 4
Kansas Tulsa, Oklahoma 218 4
Tennesse Charlotte, North Carolina 231 5
Pittsburgh Washington, DC 246 5
Xavier Cleveland, Ohio 246 5
Syracue Cleveland, Ohio 334 7
Akron Chicago, Illinois 368 7
Connecticut Washington, DC 376 8
George Mason Cleveland, Ohio 376 8
Indiana State Cleveland, Ohio 393 8
Memphis Tulsa, Oklahoma 402 8
Villanova Cleveland, Ohio 409 8
San Diego State Tucson, Arizona 410 8
Texas Tulsa, Oklahoma 451 9
Brigham Young Denver, Colorado 483 10
Cincinnati Washington, DC 521 10
Illinois Tulsa, Oklahoma 575 12
Butler Washington, DC 592 12
Marquette Cleveland, Ohio 612 12
Michigan Charlotte, North Carolina 614 12
Long Island Charlotte, North Carolina 646 13
Georgetown Chicago, Illinois 700 14
Utah State Tucson, Arizona 716 14
Saint Peters Chicago, Illinois 792 16
Kentucky Tampa, Florida 836 17
North Colorado Tucson, Arizona 900 18
Missouri Washington, DC 914 18
West Virginia Tampa, Florida 958 19
Florida State Chicago, Illinois 960 19
Texas A&M Chicago, Illinois 1074 21
Princeton Tampa, Florida 1090 22
Gonzaga Denver, Colorado 1091 22
Arizona Tulsa, Oklahoma 1097 22
Louisville Denver, Colorado 1111 22
Kansas State Tucson, Arizona 1151 23
Vanderbilt Denver, Colorado 1158 23
UNLV Tulsa, Oklahoma 1221 24
Morehead Denver, Colorado 1245 25
Temple Tulsa, Oklahoma 1279 26
Wofford Denver, Colorado 1506 30
Boston Tulsa, Oklahoma 1570 31
Belmont Tucson, Arizona 1613 32
Richmond Denver, Colorado 1670 33
Wisconsin Tucson, Arizona 1720 34
Oakland Tulsa, Oklahoma 1724 34
St John Denver, Colorado 1777 36
Penn State Tucson, Arizona 2284 46
UCLA Tampa, Florida 2544 51
UC Santa Barbara Tampa, Florida 2634 53
Washington Charlotte, North Carolina 2802 56

How many people will have to sacrifice much of anything at all to watch Duke and North Carolina the first round? How many Washington fans will get the same privilege?  The NCAA’s giving their pets a home court advantage.

NCAA Basketball’s Coach of the Year?

Roy Williams, who followed a national championship season at North Carolina by leading an inexperienced team to a Top 10 finish, was selected coach of the year by The Associated Press on Friday.

This is BS folks.  Pure BS.  For so many reasons I can’t even seperate them to begin.

  1. 23 wins?  32 other teams had as many or more.  That’s a LOT of teams folks.
  2. They didn’t win their conference.
  3. They didn’t win their conference tournament.
  4. Their conference is completely out of the tournament.
  5. They lost to an 11th seed in the NCAA Tournament.

That gets Roy Williams coach of the year?  That’s FUBAR.  Roy Williams is going to get talent as long as he’s at North Carolina.  Not because he’s a great coach, but simply because of where he is.  Anything less than a championship means he’s failed as a coach.  That’s the expectation we place on Tubby Smith, it’s fair for Roy too.

My vote goes to someone who’s actually accomplished SOMETHING.  Try taking a small school team to the NCAA Tournament, and in order to get anywhere, has to beat Michigan State, NORTH CAROLINA, and the team that knocked off the regular season SEC champion.  Oh, and it just so happens, have won more games than North Carolina as well.  Rather than being one of the top 30-winningest teams in the country, they’re actually in the top 10 with wins.  Whether they win the NCAA Championship or not, these kids have accomplished something big already.    Their coach has a lot to do with it.  For that, Jim Larranaga IS the coach of the year regardless of what AP thinks.

And, if having a team in the Final Four’s not a good enough reason, the turn-around Bruce Pearl managed at Tennessee was nothing short of startling.

AP’s screwed this one up BAD.  I just wonder if they’ll get Roy Williams’ thoughts on being coach of the year while he’s watching the coach that beat him in the Final Four?

Heirs to the Throne?

Dick Bennett will retire as Washington State’s basketball coach after the season and turn over the team to son Tony Bennett.

Now, ya gotta understand, Dick Bennett, by virtue of this year’s 11-14 record so far, has managed a power rating of 110 out of 334.  That’s down slightly from last year’s finish of 92, but, there’s two games left and they might pull it off.  League wise, in his three years at Washington State, they have finished 7th ( 13-15 ), 7th ( 12-16 ), and so far this year, 8th ( 11-14 ).  He has never had a winning record at Washington State.  According to Jim Sterk, the athletic director who recruited Bennett, “He brought respectability back to the program.”  Excuse me Jim, but losing is not respectable.  Maybe at Washington State it is, but it’s sure not here.

Meanwhile, Eddie Sutton, after wrecking the University of Kentucky, doing basically nothing outstanding at OK St, is currently semi-retired due to yet another alcohol related incident, has named his heir apparent as well, his son too, Sean.

And, not to be outdone, Bob Knight, who’s career has constantly been hampered by his irrational outbursts and temper tantrums, is ready to pass on the reins of a program that has won nothing spectacular under his coaching to his son, Pat.

What is this?  Seems to me these are PUBLIC schools, not little kingdoms where the kings appoint the heir to their throne.  Bob and Eddie are at least debatable because it can be said their kids were raised in a winning environment.  You can hope they learned what it takes to win while also learning what it takes to stay out of the troubles their dad’s got into.  But I’m here to tell ya, Tony Bennett has no right whatsoever to be expecting the crown at Washington State.  He has been a part of a LOSING coaching system.  The people at Washington State need to be screaming mad.  Unless, of course, they consider losing every single year “respectable”.  What a joke.

The NCAA needs to ban kids working for their daddies who are coaches.  I’ll gladly take any examples where it has worked when the throne was passed down.  I can think of one.  ( Hint, think Georgetown. ) But that’s about it.