TV Blows Up NCAA Tournament At-Large Selection

After viewing the NCAA Tournament committee’s at-large selections yesterday, we think that perhaps we weren’t the only ones elbow-deep in the Cutty yesterday afternoon.

Clifton Lee Northwestern State

(Pundits silent on some hair-raising selections?)

It’s astonishing to us that the main media covering the selections spent most of their time pondering the snubs of clubs like Arizona State and Virginia Tech, and very little time understanding why major conference bottom feeders like Villanova, Arizona, Kentucky, Baylor and Kansas State (among others) got in.

But to us, it’s very simple why the above team were ticketed for the big dance over some mid-majors with spectacular records: the NCAA’s spiraling television ratings.

It’s laughable to think that the committee had any other reason than TV ratings for selecting Arizona over Arizona State for a spot in the 65. Or tabbing Villanova or Kentucky for that matter.

Likewise, Michael Beasley is the sole reason K-State, which had a so-so season at best and bombed out of the Big 12 tournament, is in. And Baylor was embarrassed in Dallas on Day One (Colorado?), but because of the mind-exploding turnaround of the Bears program this season, the committee pulled Scott Drew and Co. up through the tournament trap door.

We think we speak for a lot of March-only college hoops fans when we say we’d rather see streaking teams from the non-BCS conferences make periodic appearances, rather than watch a lackluster, injury-depleted Kentucky team struggle through its first round game. Along those lines, Drake is the team we most want to see during the tournament, because the team is such a mystery.

But maybe we’re in the minority. One thing we know: we’re sure fans of the aforementioned programs will savage us for questioning why their teams got in.

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