March 13, 2016

SportsFilter: The Sunday Huddle:

A place to discuss the sports stories that aren't making news, share links that aren't quite front-page material, and diagram plays on your hand. Remember to count to five Mississippi before commenting in anger.

posted by huddle to general at 06:00 AM - 8 comments

CHL president on fighting in junior hockey: We don't need it'

posted by tommybiden at 10:16 PM on March 13, 2016

Despite not being in the room when the Spartans were being discussed, Mark Hollis, the MSU AD and NCAA Tournament Selection Committee member, ended up with quite a desirable outcome.

MSU was passed over for a 1 seed in favor of Virginia, and the two teams were placed in the same region. Virginia has historically underperformed as a high seed and the Spartans will be playing with something to prove (as if Izzo needed another arrow in his tournament coaching quiver). The wheels in Lansing have just been given their initial greasing.

posted by beaverboard at 01:23 AM on March 14, 2016

Well, to be fair, UVA has historically underperformed as a high seed (your sample size here is really just the last two years) because they keep running into a horribly underseeded MSU team. It's not so egregious this year, but I'd bet the vast majority of people give MSU a better chance at the title this year than Oregon.

posted by LionIndex at 08:24 AM on March 14, 2016

Unfortunately, as a Virginia grad from the mid-1970's, my unfulfilled high hopes and dreams experience dates back to the Ralph Sampson era, and includes mid-season letdowns as well as tournament losses. Such as the crushing loss to the Orlando Woolridge - led Notre Dame squad on national TV.

I've always liked it a lot better when the Cavs seem a bit undermanned and then overachieve, as when the Wally Walker - led team beat one heavyweight opponent after another on their way to winning the ACC tournament in 1976. That was pure bedlam. Especially because it came at the ultimate expense of the Phil Ford/Dean Smith/ Four Corners North Carolina team (none more unctuous or deleterious to the college game).

posted by beaverboard at 11:22 AM on March 14, 2016

Ah, I'm a mid-90s grad, so my tournament experience begins with knocking off 1 seed Kansas to make the 8 in 1995.

posted by LionIndex at 11:58 AM on March 14, 2016

If MSU won their conference, how are they the #2 to Virginia who, after all, lost the conference (regular season and tournament) to North Carolina?

posted by billsaysthis at 12:50 PM on March 14, 2016

I would have put MSU in as a 1 seed over Oregon, and I'd probably have them as the 3rd 1 seed and Virginia the 4th, but I think Virginia's resume is good enough for a 1 this year. They beat West Virginia and Miami on neutral courts, beat Cal, Villanova, Miami and UNC at home, and dubbed Louisville both times they played in their home-and-home series. They lost the conference season and tournament titles to basically the 2nd highest seed, missing the season title by only one game, while MSU lost the season to a 5 seed. So, they own 9 victories over teams in the tournament field, including at least one team at every seed level 6 and better, and would have 2 more if Louisville was eligible and came in as a 4-6.

posted by LionIndex at 01:40 PM on March 14, 2016

Well put. Virginia I think had one of the toughest strength of schedules in the country this year, which must have been a factor.

Dana Altman might have gotten the Ducks a little boost by virtue of Bruce Rasmussen, the longtime AD at Creighton who seemingly bears no grudge against Altman for leaving, being on the selection committee.

posted by beaverboard at 02:26 PM on March 14, 2016

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