Get inside March Madness with SI.com's Luke Winn in the Tourney Blog, a daily journal of college basketball commentary, on-site reporting and reader-driven discussions.
3/12/2006 06:47:00 PM
GW And Gonzaga: Brothers In Displeasure
Mike Hall didn't react well to the No. 8 seed.
Doug Pensinger/Getty Images
The CBS Selection Show's cutaways to bracket parties yielded two classic moments, both from shafted, non-major-conference teams:
The first, George Washington, which was slapped with a No. 8 seed despite finishing 26-2:
CBS' Greg Gumbel: (After the Colonials' spot in Duke's bracket is posted) "And, GW ..."
GW, on TV: (Players are staring ahead at their TV screen, visibly dismayed. Senior forward Mike Hall, sitting in the front row near coach Karl Hobbs, has his fists in his mouth, and there is only idle clapping.)
Gumbel: (Pauses) "They're pleased."
GW: (Pleased would be a stretch here. Only the fans in the back, realizing they're on TV, are jubilant.)
The second, Gonzaga, which was passed over for a No. 2 while ice-cold Tennessee was not:
Gumbel: "The Bulldogs of Gonzaga, a No. 3 seed. An 18-game winning streak, the longest active winning streak in the nation."
Gonzaga, on TV: (First, there's hesitation, and then Adam Morrison starts to lead the team in a half-hearted slow-clap.)
Gumbel: (Pausing) "Aaaaand, let's see who they're playing."
(Update: Some readers, in the comments, pointed out that teams were watching on delay. While this is true -- CBS cut to the parties before the teams had seen their seeding -- neither GW nor Gonzaga looked excited. I think we can agree on that. Both deserved better.)
Gonzaga and George Washington are very nice teams, but their schedules were embarrassing. Gonzaga's was weak, and GW's was absurd. (Sagarin, for instance, ranks GW's schedule as 206th in the country.) The schedules are not the fault of the players, so it is easy to understand their disappointment, but an awful lot of teams with many more losses played much tougher foes.
was air force or another bubble team chosen by the committee over cincinatti so that the committee would not have to deal with the logistics of having 9 teams from one conference in the tournament and deviating from the rule that two teams from the same conference should not meet before the regional finals?
Is it just me, or did the committee make a contradicting choice tonight? First, they give GW a #8 seed for not playing a tough schedule (I'll admit, their SOS was horrible). But they also decided to let Air Force in, who has been critized all year about their SOS. Let me commend them for their decision on GW, but letting Air Force is a joke. Cincy, FSU, and Mizz St. were all much more deserving teams in my opinion.
Air Force? Air Force? The behavior of Jim Nance and, espcecially, Billy Packer on the selection show was disgraceful. It was obvious that Commissioner Littlepage was cut off. Why? To give Packer time to rant and rave about how the selection committee was prejudiced against the major conferences. And how too many weak sister mid-majors got in.
How about Syracuse as a 5 seed? To go from bubble to that high suggests either a lot of butt-kissing on the committee's part or just plain bias. GW should've been higher, as well as Gonzaga. And would someone please tell Jim Nantz and Billy Packer to lose their attitudes? Notice Syracuse's high seeding didn't rankle them. I lost complete disrespect for the pair even before the announcements while watching the Big 10 final. Pack was already lobbying for past performance. Isn't it all about how you perform THIS season?
I think some of the seedings are a joke. Tennessee as a 2? LSU only gets a 4, after winning the SEC regular season outright, and having beat Tenn by double digits earlier. Maybe the conference tourney swung it for Tenn. Oh gee, they lost in the first round. Hmmm... Texas is also overrated, and should be a three. Certainly they should be behind Gonzaga.
JD Reader's wrong: Zags got jobbed. They played nonconference games against UConn, Maryland, Michigan St., Wash, Oklahoma St., Virginia, and Memphis. They lost to UConn by a bucket and beat MSU, Maryland, Ok St. and Virginia. Their three losses came against Memphis, UConn, and UW.
Tennessee, meanwhile, got beat by Ok State (the only other team the Zags and Vols both played was Memphis, who beat 'em both) and dropped 4 of 6 down the stretch.
Bad call, and I definitely won't be the last to say it.
Interesting.... Gonzaga plays Memphis, Uconn, Mich St., Maryland, Washington, Ok St, St. Joe's, and Stanford... and only Stanford and St. Joe's at home... and you think that is a weak schedule! Plus Gonzaga swept through their conference schedule as expected and how can you fault them for going 18-0 in those games? Tenn on the other hand got one big win vs. Texas then lost their next two big non-conf games to Memphis and Ok. St.(by 16...) and then managed to lose 4 sec conference games. What was impressive about their season? NOTHING, except the seed they were handed!
on the schedules, that is nonsense on Gonzaga's part. they try schedule one of the hardest non-conference schedules in the country over the past few years. sadly, not many are willing to play them, especially home-and-home series or even neutral courts.
this year their scheduled:
maryland michigan state uconn wash ok state virgina memphis st joe stanford
all regular top-25 programs and most have spent time in the top-10 within the past few years. two teams which ended up #1 seeds this year (though they lost both). most of those teams may not have been as solid as they should have been, but that is not the fault of Gonzaga.
still a #3 isn't that big of a slide, GW seemed to get a bit more hosed. the whole SEC got better than they deserved this year and Tenn was just the top line reflection of that.
I'm still shocked that Cincy was left out. I could not believe it. Their SOS is #6 in the country (over 100 points lower than other at-large team), their RPI is in the lower 40s and they were 8-8 in the toughest conference in the country.They've played 3 of the #1 seeds and played them all close. They beat West Virginia, Syracuse, LSU. This is crazy. Littlepage has the courage to go up there and say SOS out of conference is what matters most. Is #6 not good enough?
GW can be a dangerous team. Everyone goes on about how the injury to Pop's put them back and lowered their seeding. Having the best record in D-I and then tossed an 8 seed as a bone is a slap in the face. They have no respect now but don't count them out as a team to knock off Duke in the second round. I like Pinnock to step it up--hairband and all.
Anyone commenting on how tough Gonzaga's schedule is should take a look at what they have had to play against each year. Can anyone even name the conference they play in, much less two rival teams from that conference? What about two Gonzaga players not named Adam Morrison?
As far as the schedule goes: Virginia: A Top 25 program? Please... Michigan St.: 2nd most overrated team in the country (behind Gonzaga) Maryland and OSU: Wow, those schools sure had great years...did either make the tournament?
If Gonzaga had recieved a #2, they would have been the first team out. As a #3, they will probably make it to the Sweet 16 and not farther. Did anyone even WATCH their WCC tournament final???
As far as Syracuse's big jump because of who they beat, does that mean if Cincinnati or Rutgers had beaten those same four, they'd have been considered a 5? I seriously doubt it. I think the biggest shame is that although the mid-majors got some respect from the committee for improving the quality of opponents they play and actually strengthening their own conferences, apparently it doesn't matter to Jim Nantz or Billy Packer that the major conferences avoid these teams every year so that it weakens their own RPI.
I think FSU and Cin got robbed. FSU beats the tourneys #1 seed last week and Air Force gets in over them. Cin just got caught in the numbers game. Air Force would be lucky to have 2 wins in either of those conferences. If you have a winning record in the ACC, you go to the dance, period.
FSU and Cin were the ones that got robbed. FSU beats the tourney's #1 seed and Air Force gets in over them. Cin just got caught in the numbers game. Air Force would be lucky to win two games in either conference. If you have a winning record in the ACC you go to the dance, period.
GU was robbed, but the boys from Spokane will be their revenge all the way to the title game. the best teams from the Oakland region are Memphis, UCLA, Pit, Marquette, and, of course, the Zags. Put your heads up Zags, I think this is a very good case scenerio.
Pitt always seems to get slighted every year. You could make a case that UCONN got its slot in 2003 (Pitt won regular season) and Syracuse got its slot in 2004 (syracuse wasn't even in the championship game for the Big East) That being said, Pitt shows every year that they can lose to anyone in the NCAA's, and their out of conference SOS, well...you know...still...Pitt will make a run, mark my words....
Watching Gonzaga struggle at home to barely beat San Diego and LMU, they're lucky not to have dropped to a 4 or 5 seed. Some "disrespect" being seeded 2, 3 and 3 the last three seasons. Looking forward to another early exit!
I'm sick of Gonzaga. Every year on the selections shows they complain about there seed and then proceed to do nothing in the tournament. If Gonzaga is that good then the seed shouldn't matter because they can beat anybody.
Ecuse me for ranting when the conference placed 8 teams in, but there is a clear cut bias against Big East teams IMO. Though Cuse went in a bit high, Cinci certainly deserved a spot, and pitt as a five seed is outstandingly stupid. every year Big east teams not names Syracuse and Uconn seem to get jobbed while certain ACC and SEC teams get preferencial treatment based on past performance. BTW The GW seed was a disgrace
even though gw didn't have the greatest schedule, they were still ranked high and should have gotten a better seed. if the experts thought they were good enough to be ranked as high as they were in the polls, then the seed should have also reflected that. it makes me question the whole ranking system. it is not fair for a high ranked team to have to play duke right away in the second round (considering both win).
As many have mentioned, Gonzaga played as tough a non-conference schedule as they could schedule. Beat most and went undefeated in their conference. Seems to me the NCAA has sent a message: if you don't play in a major, you will be significantly penalized in the seeding..and don't ever expect a higher than 3 seeding. Maybe its time for the non-majors to secede...
Everyone is bashing the AFA selection, but it should not be too suprising to anyone considering the MWC has gotten 2 teams every year since 1998. AF is small, but they play an extremely disciplined style of basketball illinois has never seen. dont look now, but dont be suprised to see americas future leaders pull out an upset in the face of such adversity.
Why is everyone so concerned about where a team is seeded. Its over and the seedings arent going to change. If you play as a team you can beat any other team. Is there that much difference between a #2 seed and a #3. Cant wait for the games to start.
Gonzaga needs to LEAVE the WCC or else they will never do better than a #3 seed. The WCC is just too lame and it also doesn't prepare the Zags to win in March. Barely beating weak sisters like USD and LMU at home was terrible.
Look for Morrison is play his last game next SAT before going pro b/c the WCC always prepares Gonzaga to fail.
I laugh at the comment about Maryland having a great season. Losing to Clemson at home is sad. Granted I say that and then think about a team like Wisconsin who lost to ND State at home after going 3-4 years w/o losing a non-conference game at home and it doesn't seem as pathetic as it could be, but Maryland's bubble burst as soon as GW lost to Temple in the A-10 tournament. Cincy has to be the "66th" team right now and that sucks to be them. Someone asked about how long Pop's is going to be out, answer is unknown but he did practice today.
Anyone who saw Air Force play this year (nobody...) knows they deserver to be in. Ask Washington, Miami, Georgia Tech, St. Mary's, San Diego State, New Mexico and Utah how good they are. A huge problem for their SOS: NOBODY will play them....typical mid-major problem. Add insult to injury...theeir home arena (where they are 40-1 in last 3 years) is at 7000 feet.
I'm a Syracuse fan and I have no idea how they get a 5 seed while Cincinnati, which by all accounts was higher on the pecking order than 'Cuse before the tourney run, gets left out completely. 'Cuse also beat nobody out of conference and in famous 'Cuse fashion played no true road games until after Christmas. Bring on Duke!!!!
Gonzaga should shut up about their seed. The last time they made it to the Sweet 16 was as a #12. The years before that, they were #10. Since 2001 they get higher seeds, whine about a lack of respect, then go home during the first weekend - EVERY year since 2002.
I don't understand why the MVC got four spots. So. Illinois earned their way in by winning the MVC tournament, and Wichita State by winning the regular season. But UNI and Bradley? UNI has really slumped in the last ten games, and Bradely did not have a very strong nonconference schedule. Michigan and Cincy deserved spots more than either of them.
Completely offended at how Pitt was slighted here... Their SOS is ranked a respectable 30th in the country! I can't find a way to believe that they would get a 5 seed... GW was also jobbed, the Zag's not so much I don't think.
There's no good reason Cincy was left off. Texas A&M, Seton Hall, and especially Air Force all should have been left off in favor of the Bearcats. I am by no means a Cincinnati fan, but playing their schedule with their coaching situation and without their best player should have been more than enough. You're telling me one three-pointer is all that keeps them out of the tournament, especially considering Seton Hall got blown out by Rutgers? That's not right.
While we can quibble about who should be in and who shouldn't, it's clear that the Selection Committee does make an effort to award bids based on merit -- unlike another NCAA sport I could name.
If basketball postseason was run like football, George Washington and Northern Iowa would be in the NIT, and we'd be discussing the thrilling matchup between 15-13 Notre Dame and 15-14 Virginia, both of who clinched postseason invitations when they got over .500.
It is unfortunate that teams from smaller conferences like Gonzaga and George Washington got snubbed from higher seeds. It goes to show you that money markets mean more then potential in the NCAA. 26-2 record and your an eight seed that is disgusting. longest winning streak and the best player in the NCAA and your the three seed. It is an abomination what has happened to these two teams
How ridiculous is it that a 26-2 team ends up with a number 8 seed and the team with the longest winning streak and the best player in the NCAA ends up with a 3 seed. You know who I am talking about. Those two teams that are not in major conferences. what is wrong with the NCAA when Tennesee gets a 2 seed over Gonzaga and how GW is an 8 when at the worst they should have been a 4. Does the NCAA not see how much parity there is in today's game. It is a gross abomination with how much of the bracket turned out.
How is Tenn. a #2? LSU had a better conference record and also beat them head to head, their reward is a #4. Florida wins the conference tournament that Tenn. goes out of in the 1st game they play, and Florida not only gets to be more exhausted by playing two more days, but they get a #3, plus they get to play their ex-assistant coach's new team. I wonder if Pelphrey will have any problem preparing for kids he used to coach.
One Seed to Last Seed-who cares! Play Ball. The complaining just mirrors who we are these days. Always blame the system, the other guy, the conferance, the committie, the war in Iraq, taxes, etc, etc. Let the buzzer sound and lets play-plenty of "upsets" are going to happen-It's March Madness BABY!
1st seed to 15th-who cares!! Lets shut up and play.....How many #1's have made it all the way lately, how many #1's get to the Final Four. Who Cares!!! Plenty of upsets to follow...I'd rather see a low seed make it anyway...All those complaints about who should be where and at what level...WHO CARES!! All this complaining is a mirror of who we are in this country...Always blame someone or something if things don't go your way,Let's just shut up and enjoy the games!
Okay, I'm a Gonzaga alumnus and fan. That said, 2 or 3, I really don't care. Bottom line is, you've got to win, no matter what. Yeah, I think they deserved a 2 seed, but I think GW deserved better, too, and where's Cinci? What does surprise me, though, is that Gonzaga wasn't seeded in the same division as Duke. With all of the Reddick v. Morrison hype, Duke-Zags would have been the big money (spelled R-E-V-E-N-U-E) game. Now, that matchup can only happen in the Final Four. Possible? Definitely! But, still, I'm surprised the selection committee wouldn't consider an earlier matchup.
All year long the GW haters have been looking for an excuse to show the team is overrated. This 8th seeding is unfairly designed to make GW look bad. In the first round GW will have to play UNC-Wilmington who will be enjoying a huge home court advantage in Greensboro, NC. If the Colonials can survive that, then it's on to another North Carolina team - Duke! Don't forget GW's first loss of the season was on the road in North Carolina at N.C. State.
This utterly ridiculous if you consider it logically, when you look at it economically this makes perfect sense. The committee is faced with 2 small conference teams that could hurt ratings if they advance to far. So set them up with bogus seeds. especially GW having to play two NC teams in NC. Might as well don't ask Duke and UNC-Will. to leave home just have GW bus over to their respective home gyms. I hope the B-Ball Gods blow this up in their faces and GW knocks off Duke sweet justice at last!!!
Most critics of GW have not even seen the Colonials play this season. 26-2 - best record in Div. 1 16-0 undefeated in league play. George Washington was ripped off by the Selection Committee - two games in NC against NC teams... including Duke! But the Colonials will have the last laught, and then maybe some respect.
Duke must not be looking forward to GW in the 2nd round. What is an 8 on paper should be a 4 in reality. If GW gets Pops back, and can hit fouls shots they can beat Duke. It will be a lights out shooting contest b/w Redick and Mo Rice
It's utterly ridiculous that the Colonials are an 8 seed, and for that matter lined up against 2 teams from North Carolina in NC. If the committee is about rewarding teams for a good season (i.e. letting 4 MVC teams), then why is the 11th ranked team in the country with the best record an 8 seed? Who cares if Pops is hurt, we are still better than Wichita St or Cal. Just watch us play before you seed us.
The weak schedule argument is enough to preclude GWU from a 1 seed for having the best record, and a 2 seed.
BUt a 8 seed? Give me a break. Can you name 31 teams better than GWU? I can't even name 14 teams who I think are better than GWU.
This is a joke. Gonzaga got screwed too, so did Pitt, so did Cinci and so did Hofstra. How is George Mason in over Hofstra? lmao...maybe since George Mason is on the committee and Littlepage is an old friend.
I was also upset by Billy Packer and Jim Nantz's attitudes during the selection show. Then Packer looks at the wrong bracket and talks about Arizona-Wisconsin playing before that bracket has even been announced. What a moron. I wish we'd have heard more from Seth and Clark rather than these 2 jokers.
First of all, any of you who think Gonzaga deserves a 1 or 2 seed are smoking PCP. The West Coast Conference? Give me a break! They barely made it out of their tournament. Tennessee got its 2 seed because it had the #3 RPI all year until they leveled off at #6. They also had the #3 SOS. Dont give me a sob story about Gonzaga. Play a full schedule in the SEC and see how the beloved Zags'fair. Every team that TN lost to in the regular season is in this tournament except for OK.State. If Texas can get a #2 w/6 losses in the weak Big 12. Then by virtue of their pounding of Texas, TN deserves their #2. Sounds to me like people are mad because they actually used the formula right for once.