Tuesday, March 13, 2007

Do Not Taunt Happy Fun Roo

He's pissed, and he has every right to be. Getting snubbed by the NCAA is one thing, but for a team with 26 wins and an RPI of 66 to get blown off by the freakin' Not Invited Tournament is the kind of injustice that can provoke normally law abiding citizens to futile and senseless acts of desperation, like calling sports talk radio shows.

Zippy's team went 26-7, and lost its conference championship because of a referee's decision that was just barely less suspect than the infamous Matt Hasselbeck block below the waist call in Super Bowl XL. But Zippy knows that Billy Packer would be overwhelmed by the injustice of excluding one of the seven ACC teams who got bids in favor of another mid-major. After all, nobody wants to see a repeat of last year's unfortunate George Mason incident.

I don't think Zippy really expected an NCAA bid. But I think he and everybody else assumed the NIT was a foregone conclusion. It turns out that it wasn't, thanks to a decision to shrink the field from 40 to 32 teams, and the NIT's lame policy of extending an invitation to every team that won its conference, but didn't win its conference tournament. (This thing really is college basketball's answer to TV game show "parting gifts," isn't it?)

So, because the NIT wants all regular season conference winners to know that they're good enough, they're smart enough, and doggone it, people like them, Zippy sits on the sidelines. His team doesn't make the cut, but instead he gets to watch elite programs like East Tenn. State (22-9, RPI 123), Marist (24-8, RPI 103), Delaware State (20-12, RPI 125) and, last but not least, Mississippi Valley State (18-15, RPI 198), fight for the right to proclaim themselves the nation's 66th best college basketball team.

Take my advice--steer clear of Akron's ordinarily cheery marsupial this week. Otherwise, you'll end up like this lady, who must have reminded Zippy that MAC regular season champ Toledo (19-12, RPI of 95), is slotted to play Florida State in the NIT's first round.

1 comment:

chocolate starfish said...

Yep, Akron got a call on the bone phone and was told to stay home. I'm not so jazzed up by the "late start" of the clock after the missed free throw -- a tick or two goes by before a clock is started a few times every game -- but for the NIT to ignore them is a joke. No wonder people only watch NIT games only when "Pimp My Ride" is a repeat.

By the way, the clip of the Roo kicking some soccermom ass is from Cleveland's own "Morning Exchange" circa 1978. I'd recognize Fred Griffith's sweet Lee Majors-do anywhere ....