Morning Five: 03.15.11 EditionPosted by nvr1983 on March 15th, 2011
- Every year the announcement of the NCAA Tournament field gets athletic directors across the country to puff their chests out and tell the secretary to be ready for the alumni/boosters to being calling in with their checkbooks open. And every year the following day another announcement (one detailing the academic performance of those teams) makes those same athletic directors slouch their shoulders and tell their secretary to tell the administration that they are in meetings all day and won’t be available to speak to them at this time. The latest report indicates that basketball players across the board are doing marginally better in terms of graduating, but the gap between Caucasian and African-American student-athlete graduation rates is widening. The relative graduation rates of different schools will undoubtedly become message board fodder, but the atrocious graduation rates at many schools (particularly for African-American players is appalling).
- Over the past 36 hours there has been a lot of talk about teams being snubbed, but one team that has notably been left out of the discussion is Harvard. While there have been a few readers on our site who have been quite vocal in their support for the Crimson today they have largely gone unrecognized except for one national/local (ok, a hated local) writer who is beating the drum for Harvard as being worthy of an at-large bid to the NCAA Tournament.
- We will be releasing our All-American teams in the near future, but to get a sneak peak of what our voting might look like check out the results of the United States Basketball Writers Association (USBWA) voting where we are a member. It is hard to argue with any of the selections, but is surprising and refreshing to see Kenneth Faried honored as a 2nd team All-American despite playing in a lower-profile conference.
- With all the movement along the coaching carousel there are inevitably rumors about coaches at relatively big-name schools moving to even bigger name schools. One of the most prominent figures has been Tubby Smith who was rumored to be in the running for the recently open Arkansas position. However, it seems like Smith is not interested in becoming the Razorbacks head coach at least according to his statement from his local radio show yesterday as intends to return to Minnesota next season.
- One of my favorite aspects of the NCAA Tournament is when non-college basketball fans try to show off their college basketball knowledge. (I’m really trying not to come off as a snob here. I would love to have more people be serious college basketball fans.) In recent years this has been altered slightly by people trying to break out sophisticated statistical analysis to find the key to unlocking a perfect bracket. We at RTC love statistical analysis so when The New York Times tried its hand at picking the bracket we were interested until we saw the result, which was essentially all chalk except for six “upsets” (three #9s beating #8s, two #10s beating #7s, one #11 beating a #6, and one #3 beating a #2).