Location: Cincinnati, Ohio, United States

Monday, March 13, 2006

NCAA Selection Sunday

Well, what an, uhm, interesting show that was.

Truth be known, a week ago, I might have had marginal interest at best at watching the Selection Show, yeah it would be interesting to see how UC fared, but nothing to really draw my attention.

Then Xavier was able to overcome improbable odds to win 4 games in 4 days, taking with it their conference trophy and a little thing called an automatic berth into the NCAA tournament. Suffice to say, Sunday at 6PM, I had it tuned to CBS eagerly watching the proceedings,

Well, the good news is we're in, the bad news is we get to play Gonzaga in the first round. But the #14 seed is better than the #17 seed team. Speaking of which....

As the selection show proceeded I got a bit concerned when halfway through the bracket UC was still not invited to dance. True, I may be a true blue Muskie fan all the way, and it is also true that I work with some UC fans and it provides for some nice healthy trash-talking and grief giving. Truth be known, unless the game is XU-UC, I do like to support UC, I may not show it, but deep down, they are a home team, and its good to see the home teams win.

Then we were down to the final fourth of the bracket, and no word about UC, then the final 8, then the final 4, then the final 2, then, the last chance, then WOW, jaw drop. UC did not receive an invitation to the Big Dance. The first time THAT has happened since, oh 1991.

You know it was a shocker and a rob job, when the national broadcast personalities couldn't wait to say "I can't beleeive Cincinnati is not in this thing" I mean its one thing to hear Furman, and Cunnigham go ballistic over it, they are local personalities and so take the locak dagger in heart personally. To hear the more unbiased national reports remarking about it is noteworthy.

But,, its all subjective, and when you get down to a room full of sports geeks trying to pick and seed 65 teams subjectively, who knows what they are going to be basing those decisions on, since there doesn't seem to by any hard criteria. Its like taking a course in college, one month you turn in a major paper, and you recieve a less-than satisfying grade becuase "You did not provide enough factual information to support your claim", then the next month you get another less-than-satisfying grade becuase "you included too much detailed information, you need to be more brief in making your point" So it is here, "You need to play a harder schedule", so they join what is arguably one of the toughest conferences, play one of the top hardest schedules,manage to do alright with it, and are still left for dead come Selection Sunday, while schools whose names usually aren't associated with the NCAA tounry are in. So which is it,play a harder schedule and get more losses but against higher quality teams, or load up a cupcake schedule you can trounce all over, and post a near perfet record.

Boy, I am an XU grad and an XU fan and I just spent the majority of the post making the case for UC. What is wrong with me!!

I guess there just isn't that much to say about being #14 against #3 Gonzaga, except "GO MUSKIES!!!" You've shown more heart, passion and desire this past week, may it translate into being able to make a statement at the NCAA. The sports experts have already written us off for dead, lets make them eat crow.


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