Monday, April 26, 2010

Welcome to Bracketville, Off Season Rates Available

The Missouri Tigers should be a preseason Top 25 team. Coach Mike Anderson stays after turning down an estimated $2 million from Oregon…they return their top three scorers and will enroll a recruiting class MaxPreps.com ranks 10th nationally. The six-player class is headlined by junior college All-American Ricardo Ratliffe.

If Purdue juniors JaJuan Johnson and E’Twaun Moore don’t withdraw their names from the NBA draft, Michigan State (with Durrell Summers and Kalin Lucas returning) will be favored to repeat as Big Ten champ.

Purdue will be as good as just about anyone if JaJuan Johnson elects to return and Robbie Hummel comes back 100 percent from a torn ACL.

You can understand if the folks at ESPN are steamed that the NCAA's 14-year TV contract extension includes a different cable network, not the one that has done more than any media outlet to elevate the tournament and the sport to a national attraction.

Fifty of the 65 schools in the Tournament had student enrollments greater than either Duke or Butler. Duke and Butler have basketball team graduation rates in excess of 90%.

My take: Expanding the field from 65 to 68---it could have been worse. Probably will bloat up to 96 in the future---but for know, not terrible.

I do like the idea floating around that the eight “play-in” teams should be the last four in and the last four out and become the 12 or 13 seed in the bracket. This gives some name value to these games.

It just seems unfair to me that teams in the smaller conferences who work all season to win their conference tournament should be matched against one another in single elimination. Their reward for that effort ought to be better than a trip to Dayton.

Obviously, I am thrilled that Kyle Singler is returning to Duke for his senior season. It is sort of like UNC’s Tyler Hansbrough a couple of years ago. Both guys enjoy the college life style and I laude them. Earning one’s degree is a requirement to have one’s Duke jersey retired. Kyle has a legitimate opportunity to meet all the conditions and see #12 hang from Cameron Indoor Stadium’s rafters.

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