Sunday, March 11, 2007
And then off to Niagara.....
Above - Shock and disappointment spread quickly in a packed Gallagher Center, and the crowd ended the party early.
After we dropped off the NYC guys at Ricoh Coliseum in Toronto it was off to Niagara University to catch the revealing of the NCAA field of 65.
Unfortunately we were severely delayed at the Lewiston/Queenston border crossing (about an hour's wait) and by the time we had reached the Gallagher Center it was already known that Niagara would be seeded in the dreaded "play-in" game against Florida A+M.
What a robbery, the Purple Eagles had won eleven games in a row to finish with a 22-11 record. And no reputable news source had these guys slotted in the play in game.
If they do survive, then they head to Chicago to take on Kansas. If Niagara really wants to show the world that they were disrespected, then a good game against Kansas would be needed.
Other thoughts about Selection Sunday:
Teams that were hosed - Syracuse....the only team to beat red hot Georgetown down the stretch. They also had a 10-6 conference record, which in the Big East should have gotten them a bit. Possibly playing their traditional weak early season schedule may have doomed them.
Drexel...a mid major school that follows the protocol to get in to a T and still do not get in. Drexel goes to Syracuse....walks out with a W, goes to Villanova....walks out with a W....goes to Creighton....walks out with a W. They won 23 games in a respectable Colonial Athletic Association and had some great road victories, but in the end the committee took a mediocre club from a power conference such as Arkansas.
The matchups are set for the Buffalo sub regional (times not yet set) with seedings:
#3 Pittsburgh v. #14 Wright State
#4 Maryland v. #13 Davidson
#6 Duke v. #11 Virginia Commonwealth
#5 Butler v. #12 Old Dominion
First thought, how the hell do five teams from south of the Mason Dixon line get sent to play in Buffalo when there are plenty of tournament teams in the northeast to choose from? Buffalo is the only site in the northeast, yet only one Big East team (Pitt) is coming here with no schools from smaller conferences in the region either. I thought the whole concept of "pods" was to make travel easier for the schools involved.
The inclusion of Duke gives me an automatic villain to cheer against, a close second being Maryland as both are member of the ACC...again, why the committee sent two ACC clubs and three mid major southern schools up north while plenty of other Big East schools and small conference champions such as Albany and Central Connecticut were available is beyond my comprehension.
Still can't wait.....Thursday is just around the corner.