Monday, March 13, 2006

What East-Coast Bias?

Sunday was a momentous day in college sports. Heck, it was a big day for the nation. It was the day when East-Coast bias officially died. OK - a moment of silence as we offer our intentions and reflections. Now, let's not talk about it again until football season.

Seriously, teams west of the Appalachians did well in terms of the making the BIG DANCE and getting good seeds. Those on the other side of the mountains are still pissed that the BIG EAST only got 8 and the ACC only 4. Yes, it was a glorious day for us West-Coasters. I love the selection committee. 7 of the 10 representatives were from non BCS conferences. God bless the USA.

Air Force IN, Cincinnati OUT. Utah State IN. Florida State OUT. UCLA was awarded a #2 seed in the OAKLAND region after ripping through the PAC-10 Tourney. The MVC (a conference on both sides of the Mississippi River) was awarded 4 bids matching the mighty ACC and PAC-10. Speaking fo the PAC-10, this was a conference that was looking like two or three bids at the most not too long ago. Thank God for Lute Olsen and Arizona. The PAC-10 gets 4 bids - like it or not. And while Gonzaga got a #3 seed, they don't have to travel very far for their first two games in Salt Lake City. What East-Coast bias?

You gotta feel for schools like Michigan, Maryland, Hofstra, Creighton, and Missouri State. Or mabye NOT. All had great resumes. But they all had shortcomings as well. You can't lose 9 of 11 down the stretch and expect to get an at-large invite, Michigan. Maybe things would have been different for Cincy had they beaten Syracuse in the opening round of the BIG E Tourney. Maybe Syracuse would be on the outside looking in. Bottomline, all of these schools had their chances to punch their own tickets. It's never a good idea to give the whole-punch to somebody esle.

Finally, this is the greatest sporting event of the season for many reasons. For me, it comes down to no easy wins. Nothing is promised. Nothing is guaranteed - no matter who you are or what conference you're from. Every game is an opportunity to prevail or fall short. It's one and done. No mulligans here. Doesn't matter who would win in a best of seven series. We're not playing baseball, football, or golf. Thank God. Bring on the games already. I can hardly wait any longer.

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