I think that is a great compliment to what Pope has done but then they put them up against the winner of Michigan St. - UCLA… so in other words, you have earned your way in and you have a really good team but we don’t want you making it past the first round.
MSU has beaten Illinois, Michigan and Ohio State this year so they are capable of beating anyone. UCLA also has a very good team and the worst part of this is that these two get to play a warm up game so BYU will end up waiting nearly 2 weeks before playing an actual basketball game.
Always fun times with the tournament committee… putting UCLA vs. MSU and the winner facing BYU.
The good news is Michigan ended up 9th in the Big 10. UCLA has a 4 game losing streak. Hope that helps us but why not a couple of others who finished better than UCLA and were better in the league.?
The best possible outcome would be UCLA beating Michigan St. I think BYU would beat UCLA. I would say the odds would be 70/30. The PAC 12 is barely on a level above the WCC and UCLA has been on a losing streak. Early in the season they beat Pepperdine in double OT and were very fortunate to do so. Nobody, and I mean nobody, in the PAC 12 would touch Gonzaga. I know USC manhandled BYU early in the season but that was a terrible performance for BYU and they are much better now. That was more a function of BYU playing awful and still trying to figure out their rotation as much as it was USC playing great, which they did that day.
Michigan St. would be a 50/50 proposition. Michigan State, if I remember correctly, was considered a final four type team by all the pre-season prognosticators and then didn’t even look like a team that would make the tournament until the last few weeks. As hot as they have been lately they are not Gonzaga and BYU dominated Gonzaga for a half and played them better than even for more than 30 minutes. This time of year matchups that involve 5 and 12 seeds, 6/11, 7/10, and 8/9 should be very competitive games. Wins by lower seeds in those matchups are not major upsets. Even 4/13 matchups are often competitive and upsets in those matchups have happened over the years. You never get a real patsy unless you are a 3 seed or better. What I am saying is that Thursday night no matter who BYU plays they will get a good opponent and will have to play well to win.
Any 11 seed would be a good opponent but having said that I had the same thoughts that JIm had when I read that Michigan St. had recently defeated Ohio St., Michigan, and Illinois. I wondered if the committee was trying to set BYU up for an early exit against a really hot team not deserving a high seed but capable of beating just about anybody.
The other thing I am wondering is if the Big Ten might be a little overrated. They have 9 teams in the tournament and 2 number one seeds and a number 2 seed but is that because there is no really dominant team in their league and nobody really stood out or is it really that good of a league? Gonzaga rolled over Iowa and the game wasn’t nearly as close as the score indicated. Personally I think the Big 12 is a better conference and Baylor is clearly better than anybody in the Big Ten. I think BYU is capable of beating just about anybody if they bring their A game. Of course they could stink it up and be sent packing in the first round.
Well I looked at who is on the selection committee and noticed that Craig Thompson, the commissioner of the Mountain West conference is one of the guys.
That certainly couldn’t have had anything to do with it…
I too have a lot of trepidation over playing Tom Isso. He is a master at getting his teams ready for the dance.
I was elated that BYU got a 6 seed and was hoping to play a VCU or a over achiever from a smaller conference. But hey, BYU is very different from past BYU teams. We are ranked 32 on defense. and in the 20s on offense. We can play with anybody
I see that UCLA is slightly favored by 1.2 pts. Lets hope they are ready to play because BYU would beat UCLA.
We match up far better against UCLA and MSU has BIG rangy guards that cause us fits, the very match up that I was hoping to avoid until the second week. Buckle up.
Agreed. Byu couldn’t have gotten a tougher first game. Michigan State is uber athletic. Watched that vs Michigan game earlier this year. They are gonna bring the heat…
Hopefully byu doesn’t commit a bunch of turnovers and get behind early on.
I just finished watching the other 11 seeds play in game between Wichita St. and Drake. If either of those teams is anywhere close to the caliber of team UCLA or Michigan State is then I guess I don’t know basketball. Neither of those teams was going to have a chance in heck of beating USC in the first round. Well, I guess it is Drake but I am not impressed.
Once again, more evidence that the committee has it in for the Cougars to even make it past the first round. Can they? Yes, of course. It won’t be easy though. USC has a cake walk to the second round and will only lose if something weird happens or they just don’t show up.
So much for those folks who chose MSU as auto over UCLA because West Coast bball is soft…
I’m better with UCLA. We should be able to win this one if we come out strong.
Well we got our wish. UCLA, their number one scorer just went out with a bum ankle. We will have our hands full if we can’t get our freshman to shoot more. But I like the matchup because I think Averette can keep up with their point guard. I am Byu certainly has a height advantage
I wasn’t that Impressed with UCLA or Michigan St
I expect Pope will have his team ready to run. Considerably better than the 5 point spread expected.
I’m surprised to see comments like unimpressed with UCLA or we should be beat by more than five points. I’m just happy we have some good match ups because I will tell you that Michigan State would’ve over whelmed some of our guard play.
Buckle up Saturday night it’s going to be a great game let’s win it
Over whelm our guard play? You mean like we had GU’s NBA guards up against the wall? UCLA’s guards are quick and can shoot in the lane well. We have to bring our A game.
Did you see the other 11 seed matchup play in game between Wichita St. and Drake? If you weren’t impressed with UCLA-MSU, the other game was so much worse. UCLA and MSU are way ahead of those teams. Not sure why you weren’t impressed Aro.
We need to bring our A game. The guards are quick and they like to run the high low too.
“Did you see the other 11 seed matchup play in game between Wichita St. and Drake? If you weren’t impressed with UCLA-MSU, the other game was so much worse. UCLA and MSU are way ahead of those teams. Not sure why you weren’t impressed Aro.”
I didn’t see Wichita and Drake so I can’t comment on that game. I only saw the last 5 minutes of MSU and UCLA and the OT. Michigan St. didn’t impress me. They had control of the game and couldn’t put it away. UCLA impressed me as a good 11 seed team. I think their seed is about right and I think they played fairly well but beating MSU is no big deal since MSU lost 12 times during the regular season and were very erratic. Neither UCLA nor MSU are final four, or even elite 8 caliber teams so there is no reason to be particularly impressed with them. It sounds like a lot of the experts picked either of them to beat BYU based on their pedigree as much as anything. That doesn’t mean UCLA won’t beat BYU and maybe even beat them decisively. SDSU was curbstomped by a lower seeded Syracuse last night so anything can happen in a game matching two good teams. If UCLA plays well and BYU does not then the Cougars with lose. I think it is up to BYU to play well and if they do they will probably win.
I am not that impressed with blue blood teams that barely sneak into the tournament and are probably overrated based on their pedigree. Cougar fans should only fear what the Cougars will do in matchups like these.
I know a lot of people will say MSU was in the mighty Big Ten that put 9 teams in the tournament. I think if look you at the Big Ten this year, or any other conference for that matter, Big Ten teams didn’t play much of anybody but other Big Ten teams so how do we really know the Big Ten was as good as advertised or if 9 teams deserved to be in the tournament. Ohio State was a two seed and I think that was a gift from the committee given a 21-9 record going into the tournament. Since when does 21-9 get you a 2 seed. Much to my delight they were beaten by Oral Roberts, a team with a 16-10 record going into the tournament from a lower tier conference. I think OSU is a tad overrated. They didn’t finish their season that well either. They lost a lot late in the year. Purdue was a 4 seed with a record of 18-9 and got put out by a 13 seed North Texas that had never won an NCAA game in their history. I think Purdue was also overrated. I think the Big this year was overrated but I may be wrong. We will see how the 2 number one seeds do. Illinois blew our their opponent and that is what a one seed is supposed to do to 16 seed. Michigan is blowing out Texas Southern as expected. We will see how good they really are as things progress.
My only worry about BYU tonight is BYU. Their tournament history isn’t all that good outside a couple of runs in 1981 with Ainge and 2011 with Jimmer.
My observation of the NCAA tourney over the years is that games involving 5/12, 6/11, 7/10 & 8/9 seeds is that any win by a lower seed is typically just a mild upset so BYU losing would only be a mild upset and I suspect most of the talking heads are expecting it and probably hoping for it. I should be optimistic but I have no idea what is going to happen. For whatever it is worth ESPN gives BYU a 61% chance of winning. If the leading scorer for UCLA doesn’t play, and he couldn’t put any weight on his foot Thursday night, then BYU has a clear advantage. UCLA allegedly isn’t very deep and if Jumang is out their depth becomes even less. Their leading scorer the other night played all 45 minutes.
I have noted Pope has shortened the bench lately. Lee isn’t playing at all anymore and Harding played only 6 minutes against Pepperdine and none against Gonzaga. I think Lee not playing is to be expected but I like the idea of a 9 man rotation even if the number 9 guy only plays 5 minutes or so. I don’t think Harding hurts BYU when he is in the game and at times plays very well. He plays solid D, rebounds fairly well and doesn’t turn the ball over much.
Totally agree with your lengthy reply.
If there is a college basketball fan out there who isn’t tired of the nonsense we get every year with the Big 10 this and Big 10 that then they aren’t a real college basketball fan. It’s nonsense.
I am so glad when teams like Ohio St. and Purdue lose to much lower seeded teams. Unfortunately the committee dorks don’t have a very good memory so it will be business as usual next season and a lot of good teams will be left out because the dorks don’t really understand the game. They only understand bias, money and other irrelevant factors.
I just watched UCSB lose to Creighton by one point. Didn’t help that the refs called a nonsensical foul and gave Creighton free throws at the end of the game. Yeah UCSB had a shot at the end but when the refs help the game be determined by a whistle on what should have been a no call situation, that’s bad. It will never change.
The only fans who aren’t tired of the nonsense are the fans of the bluebloods. At least in basketball the little guys get a shot unlike in football where if a school isn’t in a P5 conference they have a next to zero shot.
I love it when schools like Gonzaga (although they are almost a blueblood now), Loyola, VCU, Butler, Wichita & George Mason make the final four. In basketball if a school can hold together a good recruiting class (not a great one, just a good one) for 3-4 years they can go a long way. You don’t have to recruit dozens of blue chip players like in football, just a handful will do and it helps level the playing field a little. Larry Bird took a bunch of average players, but guys who knew their roles, and got all the way to the national championship game. So either get a good recruiting class and keep it together or get a superstar.
As an IU grad I can only completely, absolutely, agree. Though I do wish Big Blue was on your list.
Business as usual certainly…not understand the game? I doubt. Biased certainly.
NCAA HQ is in Indianapolis.
The bureaucrats there largely grew up in Indiana and were weened on bball, perhaps more than any other state the only possible exceptions being North Carolina or Utah.
The Committee that makes the decisions is largely chosen by a fair and reasonable process.
Which has me puzzled for many years.
What factor are they including that has the B10 be so overrated so regularly?
B10 ACC challenge in which the B10 regularly beats up on the ACC certainly helps.
I think my answer has to be the Out of Conference Schedule being at the beginning of the season combined with the size of the B10 teams.
Early season wins are largely about talent and size.
B10 teams tend to have size more than the teams they beat up on and pad their OoC schedules.
B10 teams tend to have “talent,” send more to the league than the teams they face OoC so their talent gets weighted more.
By the end of the season, the smaller less talented teams have more experience and know how to play better as a team thus reducing the talent advantage the B10 has.
The three point shot is a king killer.
The B10 doesn’t shoot the three as well as the “lesser” leagues. So head to head against smaller, quicker, more experienced teams B10 teams lose so regularly that it becomes an annual embarrassment in the dance.
If Indiana brings in a coach that understands modern three heavy bball, Indiana would dominate. Any team in the B10 that realizes the power of the three in modern bball will set up a dynasty that will allow the B10s annual red faces to disappear.