March 12: Tennessee coach Bruce Pearl, Indiana coach Mike Davis, Illinois guard Dee Brown, Michigan State coach Tom Izzo and Michigan coach Tommy Ammaker react to Sunday's seedings.
INDIANAPOLIS - The madness was on before the first tipoff.
This year’s NCAA tournament draw was a mix of power and unpredictability, with the top seeds surprising no one — and the rest of the field stirring all the debate.
The No. 1 seeds went as expected Sunday, with Duke first overall, followed by Connecticut, Villanova and Memphis. Beyond that, the 65-team lineup was one big bracket of questions and curious omissions.
Selection committee chairman Craig Littlepage explained that the reasons were as varied as the process itself.
In George Washington’s case, he cited the Colonials’ nonconference record. In the case of Missouri State, he cited a weak record against the other MVC schools under consideration.
And in the case of Air Force, it seemed the committee almost went on a gut feeling.
Littlepage defended the committee’s decisions on everything from selections to seedings to placements — even how injuries factored.
At one point, the committee had to consider changing the rules. Had Cincinnati (19-12) become the ninth Big East team in the field, it would have broken a policy of not allowing conference teams to meet before the regional finals.
The nation grieved for those hurt, killed and affected by the Boston Marathon bombings. After one of the suspects was caught on Friday — following a day-long lockdown and manhunt — sports returned to Boston over the weekend.
“I’m open to anyone telling me a justifiable reason as to why this team did not get to the NCAA Tournament other than, ‘Andy, we cant let nine teams from one league get in, it sends the wrong message,”’ Kennedy said.
Villanova star Allan Ray’s eye injury was another consideration. The committee has been known to dock teams that lose key players, and the committee was discussing that possibility Sunday morning. But it got some help when Texas and Ohio State both lost in their conference tournament finals.
Duke coach said that after winning his second gold medal in men's basketball would be his Team USA finale. That may not be the case anymore.
CBT: Turning the page on the Mike Rice scandal, Rutgers hired Louisville's Julie Hermann as athletic director on Wednesday. But, Hermann has a prior scandal of her own.
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