Wednesday, March 08, 2006

Creighton Brie Whining on the Hilltop

I see Creighton has already started the whining up on the Hilltop as they watch their NCAA tournament chances fading away. Limping through the month of February after Josh Dotzler's injury, they now hope to sneak into the NCAA tournament on the new-found respect for the Missouri Valley conference.

Is that respect earned? It depends. In the Valley's defense, they are a pretty good mid-major conference. Maybe the best of them. But after watching some of that conference tournament and some selected games this season, it's pretty obvious that the Missouri Valley is not on the same level as the "BCS Conferences". And was that championship game between Bradley and Southern Illinois tough to watch or what? Dennis Dodd summed it up best:
"Everybody's favorite mid-major topped off a weekend of physical, ugly and almost traumatic basketball with more of the same."

I've watched the Missouri Valley tournament for years, and thought the sights of fans jumping around in a mostly empty Saavis Center with their silly "Missouri Valley Champs" signs was pretty humorous. It's nice to win your conference title, but let's face it, the Missouri Valley is still a mid-major conference. A very improved Valley, that's for sure. But, the RPI gives the Valley much more respect than they deserve. And Monday morning, I bet the brass at CBS were thinking the same thing.

Creighton is pinning their hopes on their victories of George Mason (who? They lost in the semis of the Colonial Conference tournament), Nebraska, and Xavier (tenth in the A-10). Well, shoot, if we're going to name drop, Nebraska beat Marquette (4th in the Big East) and Oklahoma and we know Nebraska isn't even remotely close to the tournament.

I really admire what Dana Altman has done at Creighton. He's one of the best coaches in the country. He did an excellent job with his best player out for the season, and his next-best player out for the past month. But, Creighton is what Creighton is. A decent team in a mid-major conference. Last year, they had to win the Missouri Valley tournament to get in. This year, their hopes are fading.

Are we setting up for another NIT rematch of Nebraska and Creighton? Hard to say, especially since the NIT is now set up with brackets and seedings. In the past, they tried to set up matchups like NU/CU to sell tickets, but with the NCAA running the show, that might not be in the cards for this year.


torear said...

There won't be any potential rematches with Nebraska because NU is not likely to make the NIT in the new format. The NCAA uses the same sort of criteria for the NIT that they use for the Big Dance. On Sunday, Creighton is likely to find itself either as a 12 seed and one of the last four in the field or as one of the 1 seeds in the NIT.

All Creighton's doing is making clear the extent of Dotler's injury, his availability for potential NCAA play and what his abscence did to the resume of the team. The NCAA themselves request this information and use it as point for consideration when making at-large selections. If Nebraska was in a similar situation, their crack PR people would be doing the exact same thing.

The idea that the MVC is "gaming" the RPI is silly. What they did is put together as reasonable of schedules as possible: avoiding playing complete crap at home and avoided a slew of guarantee games. In lieu of most BCS schools being willing to accept scheduling deals, the MVC schools go and put together the best schedules they can. That's not "jobbing" the system and it's no worse than, say, what Iowa State did last year: played a worthless non-conference schedule, did nothing of note through the first half of the Big 12 schedule and won a couple of games late and was awarded with an at-large bid.

The NCAA reworked the RPI to encourage more quality road games in the non-conference schedule, because the crap that most people play through the first two months of the season isn't condusive to attracting much media attention to the first half of the season. The sooner the whiners in the big 6 conferences realize that, the better.

Husker Mike said...

Creighton is not "gaming" the RPI; I never made that charge. I don't know how anybody can do that. Creighton is scheduling to the RPI, but anybody can do that.

What I am saying is that Creighton's "RPI enhancing" wins don't appear all that noteworthy.

As for the communicating their case for an NCAA bid, I really don't think the fan web site is the medium for that communication. Posting it there is simply pandering to your fan base; essentially whining.

As for "would Nebraska do it"? I don't know. All I know is that in 2001 when the BCS was working out, everybody else was complaining about the system while Nebraska let the system work it's way out.

BiteMeUsechek said...

Mike Don't argue with him. like all Creighton fans he went to school on the little yellow shool bus and he thinks Travis Justice is talented.

By the Way a question for torear What Div 1 University, located in Nebraska, Is In the 2nd round of their conference tournament and which one isn't?

torear said...

A University's internet site is one of their primary contacts with the media. Unless the University makes it clear that Dotzler is cleared to play next week, the Committee can't consider that. Considering how much attention that fact has received on the ESPN family of networks, CBS Sportsline and, i'd say the SID did his job.

In 2001, Nebraska was waiting to see the final result of the BCS formula. There is no human element in terms of selecting the BCS title game. There is in selecting the at-large bids for the NCAA tournament. That is why intangible issues such as injury status can come into play.

As to the idiot on here, his mindless drivel needs no further dignifiying response than a simple reminder as to what happened the last time these two teams met. 70-44. Good luck getting off the NIT bubble.

Husker Mike said...

Accusing the sportswriters who vote in the AP poll and the coaches who voted in the ESPN/USA Today poll of not being human is rather harsh.

No human element? Hmmmm....

torear said...

There is no BCS selection committee. There's 10 men sitting in a penthouse in Indianapolis right now voting on constructing a bracket. Craig Littlepage was on CBS yesterday and reiterated the importance of evaluating injuries, the future status of injured players and the relative worth of an injured player. Creighton would be doing itself a disservice not to promote it's case.

If Nebraska was in position to lobby for an at-large bid and end the long standing NCAA drought, they'd do the same thing. This is Pederson's Nebraska now. Does he strike you as "above" self-promotion? He doesn't to me.

Stewart Mandel of CNNSI, who correctly predicted all 65 entries last year, put Creighton in his final bracket projection last night, with the caviat that a win by South Carolina in the SEC tournament final today would kick them out. The margin is going to be very slim.

Husker Mike said...

There were about 60 sportswriters and 60 coaches voting in 2001 to help determine who was #1 and who was #2. Some people were advocating voting Nebraska at #10 or lower to ensure that Nebraska couldn't qualify for the BCS title game. Yes, the human element is different in the BCS versus the NCAA selection committee, but it's still there.

And torear, you need to read my blog a little more closely if you think that something would be ok if Steve Pederson did it. (Hint... read the opening line underneath the title of my blog!)