The games dwindle down to a precious few. The exhibition portion of the basketball season is about to end. Teams continue to jostle for positions and seedings in what the media folks continue to assure us is the only reason to even play basketball, the NCAA Tournament. Cries of ‘We’re Number 66′ are not considered desirable.
Some of the ESPN droning heads continue to claim that Virginia Tech is a lock to make the Big Dance unless they are not. Others claim that one more ‘signature’ victory is needed to help make up for all of the bad losses.
Beating Carolina would certainly be a step in the right direction.
So would finishing 8-8 in ACC play, which a win over either the Heels or Noles on Sunday would guarantee. It would be a continuation of what many consider the remarkable job Seth has done at Tech. Taking a program that came into the ACC five years ago going .500 in league play and, in a mere five years, constructing a program that could go .500 in league play is no mean feat. It would certainly seem so to Paul Hewitt, who, in roughly the same time frame, has taken his GT program from the Final Four to 1-13 in the league.
Chasing an NCAA bid is nothing new for Seth. His teams have done it often. Seth himself is a regular participant, usually as an analyst, every once in a while as a coach. In addition to one of his teams receiving a rare NCAA bid, Seth also continues to chase the St. John’s job. Maybe exhorting his guys to ‘Win so I can get out of this backwater and to a decent-sized town’ will prove to be the solution to the vexing program of motivating Jeff Allen.
If things don’t quite work out, and the Johnnies decide that Seth might not be the solution for a program still struggling to overcome the substantial damage that Mike Jarvis can inflict, there is always the NIT. If Brad’s crew encounters double trouble in the Big South tournament, or chokes on hot Curry, there is certainly the possibility for a very interesting first-round game. And what about other possibilities, such as Davidson somehow not winning the Southern? Discussing Stephen finally taking the Cassell floor would give Seth a heck of a lot more camera time than would a quick exit from the NCAA’s.
While year after year the NCAA Tournament Committee claims that it pays no attention whatsoever to how many teams from any particular conference participate in their extravaganza, all ESPN analysts seem to want to talk about is how many teams from any particular conference participate in the basketball extravaganza. Dick Vitale, in his usual understated manner, shrieks, as usual, that among the 100-120 teams he considers dead solid locks to make the 65-team field are 20-25 from the 16-team Biggie E.
If over half the membership roster of Mikey’s bloated large and disjointed diverse clusterf*** conference can make it, conference RPI would seem to dictate that the ACC would, too.
While the respective tops of the two leagues might have caused Ol’ Roy to determine that he needed depth at the position of white big guy named Tyler in order to deal with Curtis Blair down the road, at the bottom, the Jackets have looked a lot tougher while losing than have the DORKS or DePaul. The ACC is the better league overall.
If the Biggie E can get nine, at least seven and perhaps eight ACC teams ought to shine in. That would seem to indicate that Tech, Maryland and the Canes are going after either one or two spots. Past performance plus compelling storylines would seem to give Gary Williams riding Grevis Vasquez during Gary’s ‘Screw the Post’ drive the edge. The Canes close with Georgia Tech and NC State, which looks to be a bit easier road to hoe negotiate than Carolina and Florida State. Tech would be advised to win some more games.
One more week’s worth of games, then it will be on to Atlanta and the ACC Tournament. BTW, Little Johnny, how has moving the ACC’s top money-maker away from the league’s basketball-crazed epicenter worked out? If enough Carolina fans can’t get there to snatch up every available ticket, times are indeed tough. Then the Big Dance, most likely to still be held whether Tech is in it or not. Making the field beats the alternative, which makes Wednesday night and Sunday afternoon quite interesting.