So the field of 65 is set, following a run that bought along shades of 1983 by Georgia amid stormy weather that I'm sure made the NCAA selection committee come up with more contingency plans than Bear Stearns should have before they were sold for pennies to JPMorgan Chase.
Of course, following every reveal of the bracket brings about disgruntled rumblings from the have-nots who will be shooting for the right to shout "We're number 66!" at the top of their lungs to a fairly disinterested Big Apple audience. I've been predicting the possible pool for weeks now and come to the following conclusion.
Well done, Tom O'Connor and friends. Well done, indeed.
You made me sweat a little bit when my alma mater Kentucky wasn't announced until the 11 seed in the South (which is a fair placing) but I only missed on two at-larges.
Virginia Tech was out, Oregon was in. I blasted the Ducks pretty hard but the Pac-10 had been getting a lot of press as the best conference in the nation. Virginia Tech finished above .500 in a "Power Six" conference but really didn't have any marquee wins. I'm not crazy about the Ducks presence (and seriously, a nine seed?!?) but I've expressed more outrage with previous choices.
Illinois State was out, Villanova was in. I kicked out Villanova when Georgia won. And Illinois State had its RPI going and solid record, but again they had no marquee wins plus were shredded in the MVC final. 'Nova had some solid wins on their schedule and ran into a rare Georgetown shooting gallery in the Big Easy tourney.
Finally, any teams that claim the field should be expanded, I say suck it up and try again next year. This is the post season! It's not an all-inclusive package. You have to earn the right to be selected. If anything, I would like to see the dance go back to 64. All the play-in game does is give a weak sister of the poor a chance to claim a tourney win, albeit a hollow one over a fellow bottom-feeder.