Some Sports Stuff

by john on March 17, 2003

A couple of interesting tidbits from the wacky world of sports:

NCAA Selection Committee targets BYU for Sunday Game
March is Tourney Time in the United States. The NCAA Basketball Tournament is the biggest. The selection process Sunday night of determining who plays whom is almost as closely watched as the tournament games. It is that make or break moment in time where teams learn if they’ve been naughty or nice – do they play or do they stay?

One team watching the selection process closely was Brigham Young University, a Mormon church-run school that figured to draw a pretty tough matchup their first round. As it turns out they did – they were seeded 12th meaning they face a 5th seeded team in the first round. Not beyond the stretch of imagination to think they could win as there have actually been a large number of 12 vs. 5 upsets over the years.

But the biggest issue facing BYU, or more accurately facing the NCAA, is that the selection committee put BYU into one of the two regions that plays the Sweet 16 games on Friday/Sunday rather than Thursday/Saturday. Why does that matter? Because BYU does not play games on Sundays for religious reasons! None of their teams do. This is well-known throughout the NCAA and the NCAA has always accommodated it (as far as I know).

If BYU is able to win two games and make it to the Sweet 16 then the NCAA is going to swap them with a team from another region, a move so preposterous that you have to assume the committee simply doesn’t think it’s going to happen. Every office pool bracket in the country will be hosed.

The arrogance shown by the selection committee when defending some of their picks (like Alabama) is fine – it wouldn’t be March without some questions about who made the tournament. But to make such a monumental error as picking BYU in a Friday/Sunday Regional and then to compound it by not fixing the problem before the tournament starts borders on criminal.

I for one will be cheering for BYU (even though I didn’t pick them in my office pool)!

It’s a team sport, stupid
There was a triple-double in the NBA last night by Kevin Garnett of the Minnesota Timberwolves. Da Kid threw down 17 points, 11 rebounds and 10 assists for his fifth triple-double of the season. Garnett continues to make a claim for MVP of the league.

Ricky Davis of the Cleveland Cavaliers came up one rebound short of a triple-double last night in a game against the Utah Jazz. His final numbers were 28 points, 12 assists and 9 rebounds. Not that Ricky didn’t try unusually hard for that 10th rebound. With six seconds left in the game Davis took an inbounds pass under his own basket and started to make an attempt at shooting at his own basket presumably to snag the uncontested rebound and claim the triple-double. Fortunately DeShawn Stevenson of the Jazz saw what he was about to do and tackled him before he could get the shot off.

There may not be an “I” in “Team” but last night Ricky Davis certainly proved there is a “me.”

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