Sometimes, you can’t make this stuff up. As soon as the NCAA Brackets came out, Mr. Whitlock had his panties in a bunch over the selection of Duke as not only a No 1 seed, but the fact that they are in what is perceived as the easiest region.
While I honestly believe Duke deserves the top seed, I also believe they got lucky with an easy region. I already wrote about it here. Yet as we already said on Twitter, Duke wasn’t the first team to catch a break in the tournament selection process and they won’t be the last. But because it’s Duke THIS TIME, the conspiracy theory was going to pop out. Sadly though, you’d expect it from another Maryland blog, not from a respected journalist.
Let’s break Jason Whitlock’s article down.
The experts on CBS and ESPN were not at liberty Sunday night to explain to you why the NCAA Tournament selection committee treated Duke like the No. 1 overall seed rather than Kansas, the nation’s best basketball team.
As Whitlock has reminded us sooooo many times in the past, he’s the only one not afraid to tell it like it is. Damn you, weak liberal mendia!
CBS, the current rights holder, and ESPN, America’s 24-hour national sports network – along with several other networks – are currently participating in the contract negotiations. It’s a high-stakes affair. CBS paid $6 billion to exclusively broadcast the event for the last 11 years.
In an effort to hoodwink a TV network into again overpaying for the Big Dance, the NCAA is considering expanding the tourney to 96 teams.
So it’s only logical that the selection committee provided the Blue Devils – tournament-chokers for most of the last decade – a relative cakewalk to the Final Four. Duke, the alleged third No. 1 seed, is in the bracket with the weakest No. 2 (Villanova) and No. 3 (Baylor) and No. 4 (Purdue).
So let’s be clear about this. The selection committee, according to Whitlock, without a single shred of proof, made all their decisions based on future television contracts? Yep, it must all be a big conspiracy that only Jason Whitlock has figured out. He so smart.
I can imagine the conversation:
Committee member #1 – Man, I love the Duke Blue Devils, why aren’t they winning it all?
Committee member #2 – I don’t know, it’s crazy. We already force all the refs to give Duke every call.
Committee member #1 – Plus, how much money do we pay Dick Vitale to talk positive about them all the time?
Committee member #2 – Yet they never get to the Final Four anymore. What the hell are we going to do!
Committee member #1 – Jesus, I don’t know! We’re so screwed, we have television contract negotiations coming up and do you realize how much money we’re going to lose if Duke keeps not getting to the Final Four? Quick, someone get me a cigarette!
Committee member #3 – Stop!
Committee member #1 – What?
Committee member #3 – I got it!
Committee member #2 – You got what?
Committee member #3 – I know what we can do. We’ll just put them in the weakest regional. We’ll stick them with teams like Villanova, Baylor and Purdue.
Committee member #1 – That would be a cakewalk.
Committee member #3 – Exactly.
Committee member #2 – They’ll easily make it to the Final Four, we’ll make billions because of it, we’ll save our jobs and I’ll finally be able to afford the high-class hookers.
Committee member #3 – Joy. Joy.
Committee member #1 – But wait…what about Jason Whitlock? Won’t he figure all this out? I mean, it’s so obvious.
Committee member #3 – That fat fool. Come on, he’s too busy jerking off to Mike Lupica columns.
If only this was true.
My question to Jason is, if this is the case, then why hasn’t Duke always been given favorable spots? Why haven’t they’ve always ended up in the “easiest” regions year after year? I can’t recall the last time I heard someone, even the greatest haters, complain about Duke’s seeding. It shouldn’t be that hard for the evil-masterminds of the NCAA selection committee to pull this off. If it’s just about ratings, then ratings should be important every year, no just during negotiations.
I’m going to go out on a limb here and say, maybe just maybe the NCAA Selection committee would actually prefer to have the best product in the Final Four. Now I can’t explain why they did what they did, just like I can’t when we’re talking about previous “easiest regions” and other decisions that made no sense in year’s past.
My point is, if ratings were what really mattered, wouldn’t the committee go OUT of their way to make sure that Ohio State and Evan Turner, the best player in college basketball, got an easy path to the Final Four? Or maybe, if I dare suggest, they decided that a seven-loss team, with a SOS of 49 was worthy of only a two-seed. Now that would be a novel idea.
As for where they’re playing, you can blame that on the stupid system of placing teams. As it was pointed out to me this week, the committee doesn’t “snake” the teams based on their rankings. They do it by location. That’s why Ohio State stays in the Midwest. That’s why the best team in the Big East (excluding Syracuse who couldn’t play a home game) plays in the regional in upstate New York. That’s why two-seed Kansas State stays out west. This is how the committee has been doing it for a while now.
I’m not a fan of it. I believe they should be snaked (i.e. the lowest No 1 seed should be in the same region as the highest No 2 seed), but that’s not how they do it and that’s been going on before this season and long before television contracts became the most important issue (in Whitlock’s mind).
Let’s continue…of course it’s not just ratings, it’s image too, i.e. Duke’s clean image (he also adds in North Carolina).
I know. Around here, we’re quite proud of Kansas’ rich tradition. The Jayhawks produced Dr. Naismith, Wilt Chamberlain and Danny Manning. Kansas owns three NCAA titles. And just about everyone agrees Bill Self is as good a coach as there is.
Kansas fails the squeaky-clean charade.
Larry Brown hired Danny Manning’s dad and left the program on probation. We still don’t know for sure how Darrell Arthur passed 10th-grade algebra. And then there’s that whole thing about Kansas being the favorite team of porn stars.
I’m sorry, Whitlock…but the average college basketball fan doesn’t know anything about Danny Manning’s dad and I’d bet over half the fan base probably doesn’t know that Larry Brown coached Kansas to a National Championship way back in 1988. In fact, Roy Williams is how people remember Kansas.
As for the porn star in the seats…all because you tweeted about it two dozen times, doesn’t mean the rest of the world cares.
Let’s act it out again:
Committee Member #1: Damn that Kansas team is good.
Committee Member #2: Yeah, they’re great in all, but did you hear that an assistant coach got seats for a porn star?
Committee Member #1: No, I didn’t.
Committee Member #2: Well, he did.
Committee Member #1: Okay then, Ohio State as the No 2 seed it is.
Committee Member #2: That will teach Sherron Collins to have more tattoos than Lance Thomas!
Committee Member: #1: I heart Lance Thomas.
Committee Member: #2 Me too.
Of course it’s not just about porn stars and scandals from the eighties:
I just made many of you uncomfortable. Sorry. But it’s a fact.
First, you don’t make anyone uncomfortable. I’ve talked about Duke’s white players many times, long before you ever did. Second, let’s be clear on this. On top of TV ratings and on top of Danny Manning’s father issues, Duke gets an easier draw because they have less tattoos and more white guys?
Should we return to our role play again? Nah, f*ck it.
Does he really believe that the selection committee sat there and decided the one thing they needed to do to compete with the star power of the NBA is to present America with white guys?
Again, let’s be clear, next year when Duke brings in four black guys (Hairston, Irving, Thornton as well as transfer Curry and maybe more) next season, the committee will not make life easier for Duke because, like Jason said, they want more white people and Duke will be too black?
Listen, I have a lot of respect for Whitlock and I’ve enjoyed his columns for years, especially when it comes to race/sports. I don’t think he hates Duke and i don’t think he hates Duke’s players. He’s just being hyperactive. He’s the hometown boy (Big 12 country) pissy that his UK KU boys didn’t just get placed in the Final Four.
If the shoe was on the other foot and Duke was the top team, but Kansas the lesser team with an easier region, I’m sure he’d mention it on twitter, but he certainly wouldn’t have a full article accusing the NCAA of this crap.
Or if I can steal Whitlock’s theory, maybe one could argue that it was Villanova who the committee favors. Think about it, they’ve been struggling, they’re probably not even worthy of a No 2 seed. Yet the committee saw fit to not only award them a two seed, but it placed them in the easiest regional.
Think about it, Duke isn’t any good. Nova crushed the Blue Devils last season. G-Town (another Big East school crushed Duke). It wasn’t even close. How can they place the weakest two seed with the weakest one seed? It has to be a conspiracy. You have a struggling, but talented athletic team that you want back in the Final Four, so let’s put them up against a bunch of slow, nonathletic white guys!
Or maybe I’ll follow Whitlock’s final advice…he says, “But let’s deal with the reality of why Duke was given a favorable draw.”
Yes, Whitlock…let’s deal with the reality. There is no conspiracy. If there is, show me the proof. Don’t just throw up a bunch of dots and beg your audience to connect them for you, just so your point seems plausible like some third-rate Fox News reporter. Even on this meaningless blog, I deal only with facts.
The fact is, Duke caught a break. They weren’t the first team in the tournament to get lucky and they won’t be the last.
Very shady, Whitlock. Actually, you know who this article reminds me of…Mike Lupica.
46 Comments so far
Leave a comment