Mid-Major vs. Mid-Major Complaint Is B.S.

Ever since the NCAA tournament brackets for 2010 were released on Sunday, I kept reading a complaint that too many mid-majors were playing each other. The argument is that the beauty of the tourney is watching the little guys knock off the big guys, seeing David slay Goliath. Moreover, the feeling is that the tourney wants bigger-name schools to advance, presumably to draw better ratings. I think all you have to do is examine the tournament field and you can tell that this complaint is utter nonsense and nothing other than complaining for the sake of complaining, likely because you were going to complain about this “issue” regardless of what brackets the committee spit out.

Out of the field of 65, 33 teams are “mid-majors,” which I classify as non-BCS schools. Inevitably, these schools will have to face each other. Moreover, if you’re rewarding the smaller-schools for having good seasons, then you have to give them a high seed, and they will accordingly be matched up with another small school. That’s what happened with New Mexico, Temple, Butler, and Xavier. Drop those teams down in seeding and then you’re really being unfair, but at least you get a mid-major against a BCS school, right? Pointing out the few mid-major vs. mid-major matchups also ignores the several other cases where mid-majors play BCS schools in the first round. So Gonzaga playing Florida State, Xavier getting Minnesota, Notre Dame drawing Old Dominion, BYU getting Florida, Houston drawing Maryland, and San Diego State having a chance to upset Tennessee means nothing? There are several more cases where mid-majors have a chance to upset a BCS school than vice versa.

Out of the 32 first-round games, 22 are BCS vs. mid-majors, five BCS vs. BCS games, and five mids vs. mids. The only matchups I can really see a legit complaint for are the 7-10 game of Richmond/St. Mary’s and the 8-9 game of UNLV/Northern Iowa. I don’t see two games out of 32 being a trend, nor problem, nor something worthy of a complaint. If anything, I think it’s good to have a few mids-vs.-mids games to ensure at least one mid moves on. Moreover, I like seeing the 8-9, 7-10 BCS vs. BCS games because it allows us the chance to compare the strength of conferences. Who doesn’t look at Cal vs. Louisville as the Pac-10 against the Big East and the Oklahoma State against Georgia Tech as the Big 12 vs. the ACC? That’s part of the beauty of the tournament, too.

Dear Non-BCS Schools: $!#@ You. Love, NCAA [Basketball Prospectus]

Around The Web

  • Kevin/Indianapolis

    Explain this to me. Look at the final NCAA basketball poll: http://tiny.cc/6BOcp.

    Why is Butler a 5 seed?

  • Teddy

    What the F__ does the BCS have to do with basketball?

  • http://larrybrownsports.com Larry Brown

    Purdue is lower based on their ranking, as are Temple and Tennessee. It’s pretty obvious they moved teams up or down based on the difficulty of their conference. The Horizon League was down this year, as was the Pac-10. The Big 12 and Big East were up, that’s why those teams had higher seeds. I don’t have a problem with that.

  • Kevin/Indianapolis

    You didn’t really answer the question. But that’s OK. Butler wasn’t given the seed it deserved as a top 12 team.

    The Pac-10 was amazingly bad. I still can’t believe or understand it.

  • http://larrybrownsports.com Larry Brown

    My answer is that obviously the committee used their own set of criteria when determining seeds that really didn’t value the polls. It’s obvious they highly valued the difficulty level of the conference in which you played, and Butler’s league wasn’t very good. I probably would have made them a four and Vandy a five.

  • SpinMax

    people are still amped up by the boise st vs. TCU Fiesta bowl debacle

  • Rosinante

    They ( the NCAA) should stop playing around. 2 bids to every conference, one to the season winner and one to the conference champ. If one school wins both, that extra bid goes into a pool. However many bids in that pool are at large bid and the networks select them.
    This would spread out the talent. Right now the networks have created large conferences that get good ratings. In the long run that is bad. Parity is good. Parity produces close, exciting games.
    This won’t happen until the NCAA is forced to do it. That won’t be long. The courts are about to go rummaging through the NCAA records. Considering how dirty the NCAA is, don’t be surprised by what they find. It has been 3 decades since the NCAA paid Tark 2.5 million to keep their records out of court. It will cost them a LOT more this time. Memphis is full of Lawyers waiting to get their bit of flesh off the NCAA. D. Rose has the same rights as every other American. That includes the right to trial and the presumption of innocence. The NCAA has violated those rights. They will have to prove in court that D. Rose didn’t take his test. Since he did, they can’t. Derrick should ask for 100 million. The NCAA has deep pockets. For now. They will get a lot lighter by next fall.
    If the NCAA was smart, they would split into 3 divisions. Football, Basketball and the other sports. That way they could keep some of their revenue stream intact through the upcoming blizzard of law suits.