Just clearing out the pre-NCAA tournament notebook
Here's a few questions for the NCAA tournament selection committee to ponder a week before Selection Sunday
If North Carolina completes a season-sweep of Duke at the Dean Dome on Saturday do the Tar Heels bump the Blue Devils out of the No. 1 seed?
The return of Duke's Zion Williamson--of sneaker gate fame--is expected for next week's Atlantic Coast Conference tournament and the Blue Devils should be fine. But if Carolina beats Duke Saturday, it would be hard to deny the Tar Heels a No. 1 seed, no matter what happens in the ACC tournament.
Logic would suggest the Tar Heels would simply swap spots with Duke, which would drop to a No. 2 seed since it would be difficult to justify dropping Virginia, Gonzaga or Tennessee unless they have early exits in their conference tournament.
A Gonzaga loss in the West Coast Conference tournament, coupled with a Duke-NC ACC tournament final could put three ACC teams as No. 1 seeds.
It will be interesting to see how it plays out.
Wonder how the controversy surrounding LSU coach Will Wade getting caught on a Federal wire tap where payment of players is discussed will affect the Tigers in the NCAA tournament?
LSU officials reacted to published reports that Wade had made ""strong ass offers'' to high scale recruits by suspending Wade indefinitely on Friday afternoon.
The Tigers, with regular season wins over both Kentucky and Tennessee, had been regarded as a ""dark horse'' Final Four contender.
Just how much the controversy will affect the Tigers in next week's Southeastern Conference tournament and in the NCAA tournament remains to be seen.
But losing your head coach the week before post season, can't help.
Who is going to win the Big East tournament? Marquette and Villanova are the top tier, but neither has inspired confidence down the stretch and there are at least five other teams who could make a run at Madison Square Garden.
What that means is that the Big East is not likely to have any team among the Top 4 seeds, but could have three or four teams all clustered in the 5-9 line.
The Big Ten is top heavy. After Michigan, Michigan State and Purdue, the Big Ten has 6 teams who could pull off enough upsets to get into the NCAA tournament field, including Indiana, which is a woeful 7-12 in Big Ten play, but the Hoosiers have won 3 straight, with wins over Louisville, Marquette and a sweep over Michigan State.
The Big 12 could have 8 teams in the field, which would include Oklahoma and TCU, who are a combined 8 games below .500 in Big 12 play.
If I were running the NCAA tournament, Belmont, Murray State and Wofford all would already have NCAA bids. They are a combined 76-12 for the regular season.
Boston College finishes the regular season on Saturday with a home game against NC State.
The Eagles need to win that game and one ACC tournament game to have a chance to play in the post season. The problem is that NC State needs to win on Saturday to get off the NCAA tournament bubble.
Having said all of that, BC coach Jim Christian deserves another season. The Eagles have quality wins over Louisville, Minnesota and Florida State (all who should be in the NCAA tournament) and they have acquitted themselves in several other games.
That does not mean that the Eagles are on the road back as even an ACC middle of the road team, but they are making progress.
I said it before and I will say it agan, no one in New England has done a better job coaching this winter than Northeastern's Billy Coen and Harvard's Tommy Amaker. They could be the only New England teams other than Vermont) in this year's NCAA tournament.
But Northeastern will have to find a way to win a tournament spot in Charleston, South Carolina (where the College of Charleston and No. 1 seed Hofstra loom in the CAA tournament) and Harvard will have to win the Ivy League tournament at Yale, with Yale as a possible opponent.