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#10: Here's an interesting oral history of Gonzaga MBB's NCAA Tourney accomplishments as the Zags have been in the Big Dance for an impressive 20 straight years. Zags AD Roth thinks all the way back to 1999, "Between days at each site there’s a thing called the transition meeting, to prepare the schools who have a chance to go to the next round. So it’s me and (sports information director) Oliver Pierce and (assistant AD) Mike Hogan and the gal who worked for our travel company – not even for Gonzaga, but our travel agent. UConn comes into the room and it’s 10 guys in black suits – they had assistants for their assistants. And they’re talking about 500 hotel rooms and 5,000 tickets and how you need security on your hotel room floor and we’re deer in the headlights. (Former Santa Clara coach) Carroll Williams was on the committee that year and he grabs me after and said, 'Mike, if you guys win, you’re going to need a lot of help.'" Lots more. Fun read. (link)
#9: The NCAA spends $15M on transportation for the Division I Men's and Women's Basketball Tournaments and here is a deep dive into the inner workings of Iowa-based Short's Travel Management, the travel agency that since 2003 has served as home base for all travel-related activities for the tourneys. NCAA Director of Travel and Insurance Sheely also profiled. Really long and interesting read about coordinating the 200+ flights, 460+ buses and 20K+ air passengers involved with the post season during the month of March. (link)
#8: Ron Bell, former friend & current claimant of Georgia Tech MBB HC Pastner, has landed in jail. (link)
#7: High-profile official Valentine doesn't get a Tourney assignment, says it's due to the incident earlier in the season with North Carolina student-athlete Berry, "This is not right, it's just not fair. It hit me like a ton of bricks. I'm being punished unjustly." (link)
#6: Interim Louisville AD Tyra indicates he'll handle the MBB HC search without the aid of a search firm & while a search for a permanent AD is on-going. I'll eat my shirt if... (link)
#5: Yahoo's Thamel updates his carousel piece, looks at UConnGeorgiaPittLouisville, Ole Miss &Colorado State. (link)
#4: There's certainly no love lost between LSU & Louisiana MBB staffs as the HCs Wade & Marlin continued their back & forth Wednesday night as the Tigers upended the Ragin' Cajuns in an opening round NIT contest. At the center of the beef looks to be non-conference scheduling practices & UL pushing for a future home & home arrangement. Tigers HC Wade called a timeout with 40 seconds while leading comfortably, "They don’t get to play us very often, so I thought they should enjoy it." Of course, there was also a post-game handshake line scuffle & Wade took some major shots after the game. Lots more ice in the links. (linklink)
#3: North Carolina's Center for Research in Intercollegiate Athletics releases its second annual Multimedia Rights Agreement Report & you'll want to take a look. CRIA's research shows Learfield & IMG College control 88% of the market per the agreements it has access to review, which includes 55 'Power 5' deals. An estimated total of the FBS marketplace as a whole is $515M with $400M+ generated at the P5 level. More specifically, Texas ($13.11M - IMG), Ohio State ($10.38M - IMG), UCLA ($10M - IMG), Kentucky ($9.5M - JMI) & UConn ($8.828M - IMG) top the list of biggest hauls this year. There's further breakdowns by league, rightsholder & the largest future commitments, like the $19.8M due to Texas from IMG in 2030-31. Lots here, super interesting data. (link)
#2: WBB post-season storylines:
+ Here's your full NCAA Tourney bracket. (link)
+ Watch: Nevada Senior Assoc. AD/SWA & Committee Chair Bennett chats on some decisions by her group, including the differentiating factors between the last four in & first four out. Bennett says the committee spent seven hours solely on the last eight selections. Bennett points to Oklahoma's second-ranked SOS as the trump card even though the Sooners only won 16 games. First 16-win team in the tourney since 2005. More. (link)
Rutgers HC Stringer: "I believe in my heart that our team was worthy of an NCAA bid. It pains both the players and the staff to not have our name called this evening. We have decided that our season should end at this point and focus on the future and putting ourselves into position to control our destiny come next season." More comments from Bennett. (link)
+ Here's the 64-team WNIT field. (link)
#1: NCAA MBB Tournament selection storylines:
+ Here's your bracket (link)
Pac-12 Hotline's Wilner wraps up what ultimately mattered to the Committee: A team's full body of work, wins away from home, a challenging non-conference slate & wins over others in the tourney. (link)
Creighton AD & Committee chair Rasmussen says the MBB-FBI developments had nothing to do with LouisvilleUSC & Oklahoma State ending up on the outside looking in. (link)
Notre Dame was the last team out. (link)
NCAA Director of Media Coordination/Statistics Worlock: "I wanted to share a couple of tidbits as points of clarity. First, the committee used the S-Curve on the first two lines after having repeated trouble with competitive balance on the top 4 lines. Returned to using geography and conference affiliation for lines 3 and 4. That's how UNC ended up in the West, despite being the top team on the 2 line. For the first time in several years, the committee had to move teams off of their true seed line. This was because two Big East teams were No. 1 seeds and four Big East teams were on the 8 and 9 lines. This resulted in Butler and Providence moving down to the 10 line, while Florida St. and NC State moved up to the 9 line despite being seeded 37 and 38 on the overall seed list." (link)
ESPN's Goodman with a well-done piece on those who were left out as mid-major HCs question the selection process in comments that seem to cycle around every single year. Middle Tennessee HC Davis: "The committee sent a message to me that it's going to get tougher for everybody at our level to get an at-large with this new system. You've got to be perfect. We only have a few chances, and they are usually either on the road or on a neutral court, where the Power 5 schools have six to eight opportunities at home in front of their crowd." St. Mary's HC Bennett: "Explain to me how the quadrant system is scored? There's the problem. I don't know why they do anything. I will tell you that they won't tell you how they keep score." USC HC Enfield says the conference slate didn't even matter this year & Baylor's Drew pushes for an expansion of the tourney to 96 teams. (link)
+ Middle Tennessee AD Massaro via Twitter, "The deck is stacked. How do we collect Quadrant 1 home wins?" (link)
+ Also a good thread on mid-major scheduling from CBS' Parrish. Nevada figured it out, looks like St. Mary's didn't. (link)
+ Here's your NIT bracket with tips that started Tuesday night, including 13 regular season conference winners who earned automatic bids. (link)
+ The CIT got moving Monday with four games on CBS Sports Network. (link)
CBI organizers locked in 16 squads & by the looks of it four or five are below the .500 mark. (link)
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