Pitchin' with Pritch: Teams picked for NCAA tournament

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March Madness is in full swing! For a basketball fan this is the greatest time of the year. 

The conference tournaments have finished. The NCAA, in their infinite wisdom, has picked teams based on some kind of system that changes now and then but isn’t foolproof. The committee knows that, but there are still picks and placement of teams that don’t make sense even when you don’t have a dog in the fight. 

The Huskers again are on the outside looking in as far as the NCAA tournament is concerned, but that wasn’t a surprise. The Huskers played more games in the Big 10 Tournament than most people thought they would, me included, but it wasn’t enough. 

In my opinion, the Huskers played with more fire and desire in the tournament than they did during the regular season. They did it outside of Pinnacle Bank Arena and they did it for three games in a row. 

That wasn’t the case during the regular season. A number of the Husker games in the regular season played outside of PBA were lackluster to say the least. 

You wonder where kids like Johnny Trueblood were all season long because in the tournament he looked like he should have had more playing time than he got during the season. 

The three big names, James Palmer Jr., Glen Watson, Jr., and Isaiah Roby all had their moments in the tournament, and I think they excelled to their utmost degree in the games. Wisconsin was better, deeper and more rested.

When you look at the bracket, you wonder how teams got placed where they did. If I were Tom Izzo, I would think the committee didn’t like me or my school or something. Michigan State ended up as co-champions of the Big 10, won the Big 10 Tournament, had the second-most quadrant 1 wins which is supposed to be a big factor, but they got the lowest No. 2 seed and are in the same bracket with overall No. 1 seed Duke plus might have to play another Big 10 team Minnesota in game 2. 

The Big 10 got 66 percent of their teams in the tournament with eight teams making it. Remember before you question my math skills, that I was an English teacher, but the Big 12 has 14 teams. So much for names of conferences. The Big 10 isn’t the only conference that can’t count or doesn’t what to change the history of the name as The Big 12 has 10 teams. They got six teams into the tournament. 

Anyway, the brackets are formed and let the games begin. My Jayhawks got a fourth seed and play Northeastern and the No. 1 seed in their Midwest bracket is North Carolina. Virginia is a No. 1 seed in the South bracket and Gonzaga is the No. 1 seed in the West bracket.

Coach Miles’ fate

The other question that hasn’t been answered yet and it probably won’t be until the NIT bids come out is the fate of Coach Tim Miles. AD Bill Moos said an announcement would be made after the season is finished so if the Huskers make the NIT tournament it will be awhile longer before those questions can or will be published. 

There have been rumors about who might replace Miles but they are just rumors. It was interesting Saturday during the Pac 12 tournament game between Oregon and Washington, one of the announcers said Oregon coach Dana Altman had been mentioned as a possible replacement, but it was reported that Altman had accepted an extension to his Oregon contract. Bill Walton, who I think will never win any awards for sports casting, made the comment, “Who would want to leave Oregon to go to Nebraska?” That might have been the most relevant think he said during the game.

The decision on Coach Miles will be announced later as the Huskers will host Butler in the NIT March 20. The Huskers are a No. 4 seed in their bracket. Creighton also will host a game in the NIT. Good luck to both teams.


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