As Chris Coleman detailed in “Black Saturday,” there was a lot to
be nervous about with regards to the Hokies’ NCAA hopes after Saturday’s games
ended. But where it all really went south for me was when ESPN’s Joe Lunardi,
around 3:30 Sunday, moved Tech from a comfortable position in the “Last 4
In” to “First Team Out.” Translation? Lunardi had talked to
someone, and he knew how it was going to go down.
I’m guessing that Lunardi isn’t any better than any other bracketologist,
except, as it starts to come down to the wire, he can make phone calls and tell
people he’s from ESPN. Suddenly, he’s got all the information he needs. He’s the
Joe Schad (of College Football Live) of ESPN’s college basketball bracketology
side of the house.
So when Lunardi moved the Hokies from In to Out, I knew it was over.
After that, it was a kick-the-dog, yell-at-the-kids kind of afternoon, but I
kept it cool. I’ve been a father long enough to separate my Hokie fandom, which
doesn’t always go smoothly, from family, which should always go smoothly. We
went out to our usual Sunday dinner early and had a good time. And, honestly, we
don’t even have a dog.
I went through the motions of watching the NCAA selection show on CBS, but it
was pointless. At about 6:40, it was official: The Hokies weren’t invited.
I’m not here to rail about the other bubble teams that made it. The press,
the message boards, and the talking heads are full of such discussion and
numbersmithing. I went through that
exercise two years ago, when the Hokies weren’t invited, and the reasons why
seemed random when applied to other teams (Dayton at the time).
The RPI is a stupidly flawed system. Jeff
Sagarin’s computer ratings, which I trust more than the ridiculous RPI, have
the Hokies as the #34 team in the country. Just look at the number of at-large
teams that made the tourney who are ranked below the Hokies by Sagarin. In many
cases, well below the Hokies.
I could go on and on and on. But I won’t. Everyone else is already doing
that. I’ll just
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