Congratulations to Michigan State University, which has plowed into the Elite 8 . . . as a seven seed.
It makes you wonder: What was the selection committee thinking? Why in the world would you give MSU, which almost always turns into a Top 10 team in March, a 7 seed?
I might have the answer: The team selection and seeding don’t depend on what the committee thinks a team will do. It’s based on what a team did during the regular season.
And Michigan State lost 11 games in the regular season, going 26-11. Can you blame the selection committee for seeding them 7th?
Actually, you probably can. Most of those 11 losses came against powerhouse teams: ND, Duke, Kansas, Maryland, Wisconsin. And the AP voters were impressed enough to rank MSU 23rd in the nation at the end of the regular season . . . which should translate to, at a minimum, a sixth seed. And to the extent the committee takes into account late-season performance (which pundits say it does, which would, incidentally, imply that a projection for how a team will do plays into the committee’s analysis), the committee shouldn’t have ignored MSU’s late season surge: winning four straight before losing to Wisconsin in over-time in the Big Ten championship game.
I’m reminded about how well the Big Ten did in the football bowl games this year . . . and reminded that Ohio State won the national championship:
Ohio State 42, Alabama 35
Michigan State 42, Baylor 41
Wisconsin 34, Auburn 31 (OT)
Missouri 33, Minnesota 17
Stanford 45, Maryland 21
Pedophile State 31, Boston College 30 (OT)
USC 45, Nebraska 42
Louisiana Tech 35, Illinois 18
Rutgers 40, North Carolina 21
That’s 5-4 . . . and 2-1 against the SEC, which, commentators repeatedly tell the nation, is light years ahead of the Big Ten in football. This performance was with Michigan football in the tank and a full season of non-stop disparagement about Big Ten football.
So why all the disrespect for the Big Ten? Is it because Michigan is often seen as the Big Ten flagship school, with the result that, when it’s down, there’s a general perception that the Big Ten is down? Or is it (and this is my guess) that the SEC is tied in with ESPN and ESPN drives the nation’s athletic discourse, with the result that its agenda controls things like the selection committee?
It’s a testament to the need for another sports station in this country, so we can get disinformation from at least two sources. It’s why I had such high hopes for Fox Sports One. Maybe someday it can get its act together and give us something besides car racing and dog shows.