Saturday, March 18, 2006

I want a written apology, Jim Nantz and Billy Packer

Allow me, for a minute, to take the persona of Craig Littlepage, as I write this letter to Jim Nantz and Billy Packer.

Dear Jim and Billy,

Please let me take you back to last Sunday. Our committee had made our selections, and you were outraged. "Too many mid-majors" you said. "Let's look at the 5-year trends" was another popular answer. Let's see how those Mid-Majors are doing now.

The MVC got 4 bids, which you guys felt was way too much. So far, they're 2-2, which is modest. But considering their seeds were 7, 10, 11, and 13, going by the seeds they should only have had one win. For comparison's sake, how about the Big 12? They had seeds of 1, 4, 6, and 12, so they should have 3 wins. They have 2 as well. Let's look at the MVC teams one-by-one.

7-seed Wichita St. - Controlled the game in all aspects in a 86-66 win over Big East team Seton Hall.
10 seed Northern Iowa - Led at half against another Big East team, Georgetown, but ended up with a 54-49 loss.
11 seed Southern Illinois - Did not fare so well, as West Virginia was hot and beat them handily. But they were the conference winner, so our hands were tied.
13 seed Bradley - A win over the Big 12 winner Kansas. Kansas is young, but just last week they beat Texas by double digits to win the Big 12 title. Bradley controlled this game throughout. Not a bad showing for the MVC.

How about the CAA, who also got 2 teams? How did they fare?

9 seed UNC-Wilmington - Had the game in hand but let it slip away in OT to another Mid-Major, this time George Washington.
11 seed George Mason - These guys were even at a disadvantage, playing without their second leading scorer. So what do they do? Beat a more-talented Michigan St. team, who was, I might mention, a trendy Elite Eight pick.

That makes 1-1 for the CAA, when their seeds say they should have been 0-2.

Elsewhere, small-college teams like Northwestern St., Bucknell, Montana, and Wisonsin-Milwaukee won against higher-seeded and arguably more talented teams, most of them coming from the power conferences. Other Mid-Majors such as Xavier, Murray St., San Diego St., Davidson, Winthrop, and Pacific gave higher-seeded and power conference teams all the wanted and then some.

Sure, mistakes may have been made with a team like Utah St. or Air Force (who did far relatively well for a 13 seed), but if you guys had it your way, Mid-Majors like Bradley or George Mason would have been left out for a team like Florida St. or Maryland. I hope you guys can finally see the light, and see that yes, these Mid-Majors can compete with the big boys. The proof is in front of us.

Sincerely,
Craig Littlepage

P.S. Seriously though, watch out for Wichita St. and Bradley in the next round.

8 comments:

Doc P said...

Not to nitpick, but Texas is a 2. No 1 seeds for the big 12. Other than that, nice post.

twins15 said...

Oh yes, you're correct. My bad on that.

And by the way, another impressive showing from the MVC, as they, at least for the moment, have more Sweet 16 teams than the Big 12. :)

Chris said...

great post(A10 fan here)

Doc P said...

yeah, super juicy validation for you! Nice job man.

vcthree said...

...Mid-Majors like Bradley or George Mason would have been left out for a team like Florida St. or Maryland...

...who would have been eliminated in the first round. Just like in the NIT's.

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