Covering University of Colorado sports, mostly basketball, since 2010

Monday, March 14, 2011

Monday Grab Bag: All dressed up and no one to dance with

Bubbles are made to burst.  Some teams, deserving as they might be, are always going to be left on the sidelines; it's the nature of selection.  Someone has to be picked over someone else; it sucks, but that's how it is.  Obviously, there is a powerful argument to be made for CU's exclusion; they were on the bubble for a reason, afterall.

All of those reasoned, half-hearted excuses aside, CU got jobbed.  Today in the bag I'll discuss missing out on the Tournament in much greater detail.  I'll pine around for scapegoats, and emotionally lash out a bit.  There is some lingering good news from Buff Nation, but I'll mostly be talking basketball.

If you're looking for spring football discussion, go somewhere else.  I'm in mourning, people.

Click below for this edition of the bag

Buffs denied a ticket to the dance - As the weekend went on, the bubble looked worse and worse for the Buffs, but I never thought they'd get shafted in the manner that they did.  Wow, did that end up spectacularly shitty.  48 hours after jumping out to a surprising early lead over the Jayhawks in the Big XII semi-finals, the Buffs were sitting in stunned disbelief as no one on the CBS panel read their name off.  The NCAA Tournament will go on, and CU will play no part in it.

The Seniors deserved better - Late last night I watched the reaction videos on and Buffzone.  That was some rough stuff to watch.  Watching the seniors as their fate finally dawns on them is some of the cruelest video I've ever seen.  For me, CU missing the Dance is painful, but for those guys it's the death of a lifelong dream.  What'd they do but work their ass off to turn a 1-win Big XII team into a conference semi-finalist?  They don't deserve this kick-in-the-teeth.  Bubbles are always going to be burst, but for them to go from "in" to "out," having done nothing but what was asked of them, is a cruel bitch of a move.

NCAA Snub - While everyone else was holding their breath through the entirety of Sundays Selection shows, hoping that CU would beat the slowly increasing odds to sneak into the tournament, I was already resigned to fate.  The second that I saw "UAB/Clemson" in the East regional, I knew CU had been sent to the sidelines.  If UAB was getting a spot, everyone on the bubble was in trouble.

I wouldn't have minded the Buffs losing out to Virginia Tech, who had a win over Duke in late February, or St Mary's, who won the always competitive WCC; but to lose a spot to the unimpressive tandem of UAB and VCU is a slap in the face.  The Buffs may not fare well in the "blind resume" test, but the Blazers and Rams fare even worse.
Seriously?  These guys get in?

Those two teams are inexcusable. Alabama-Birmingham's best win is probably their road win against Marshall... fucking Marshall.  Virginia Commonwealth has 3, count 'em 3, losses against teams with an RPI over 150.  Hell, the Rams lost to Northeastern... not 'western,' but 'eastern' ... IN FEBRUARY.  Not-for-nothing, but during February the Buffs were playing, and beating, teams like Kansas State and Texas.  You don't want the Buffs, fine, I understand the arguments against, but neither of these teams earned the right to have their names called yesterday.

The presence of Dan Beebe on the committee - I'm not one for conspiracy theories.  However, I can't help but notice the presence of Big XII commissioner Dan Beebe on the selection committee.  This is the same Dan Beebe who we flouted by jail-breaking out of the Big XII for the bright horizons of the Pac-12; needless to say, I don't think he was bending too far backwards to help CU get into the Dance.
Yeah, I sure he worked real hard to get CU in.

I'm not going to come out and say he campaigned against the Buffs; hell look at how low Mizzou was seeded (#11).  How much you want to bet that Mr. Beebe had to campaign just to keep them on that line?  At no point did I think Mizzou was not going to get in, so for them to slip that far is telling.  Dan Beebe is obviously an ineffective advocate (just look at last year's Big XII dismantling), but that doesn't shake my intuition that Beebe, if not outright helping CU's descent, sat meekly by as CU fell from the field.  Intentional or not, Dan Beebe is a primary culprit to CU not being in the Tournament.

Egg on Lunardi's face - This is why I usually dismiss ESPN's coverage/analysis of anything that they don't control.  I got caught up in emotion, and quickly bought into his over-hyped ramblings.  This is why, over the past few days, I began to read more and more into the fact that CBS's Jerry Palm had us outside of the bracket.  It was too perfect; too clean.  CU beats K-State, and they're in.  Not playing in Dayton; fucking 'in' in.  I don't know how Joe Lunardi comes up with his projections, but he may need to re-think his math.  He may excuse this fuckup by saying, "Oh, I only missed 'x' number of teams."  Joe, dude, those are the only spots anyone reads your shit for.  Way to fail.

NIT Wednesday vs Texas Southern - Now that I've got the pissing and moaning out of my system, the team still has games to play.  Home games in fact.  This Wednesday night at 7pm, the Buffs return to the CEC for bonus basketball against the Texas Southern Tigers.  The Buffs were given the consolation prize of a #1 NIT seed and a series of home games which may include a re-match with CSU.  For the first time in 5 years CU will be playing post-season basketball; so what I'm saying is that it could be worse.

It may not be what anyone expected, but this teams deserves to face the Tigers in front of a full CEC.  For historical reference, in '06, the last time CU had their NCAA bubble burst, less than 3,000 people turned up for the first round NIT matchup against Old Dominion.  We as Buff fans can do better, and we must do better; this team is too good to play in an empty gym.  If you're in the Boulder-Denver Metro Area, please, PLEASE, come out Wednesday night.

We can't allow this painful reality to diminish the way we support these players.From: the BDC

Skiing National Title - In non-basketball news, CU won it's 18th skiing national title, and 24th overall, this past weekend in Stowe, Vermont.  Skiing for the memory of the late Spencer Nelson, the Buffs jumped out to an early lead at the finals, and never looked back.  I'm not a skiing guy, hell you'll never even get me up to the mountains in winter, let alone on them, but as an outsider I was very impressed by the team's perseverance in the face of adversity.  The team lost a teammate, suffered through two van crashes in the past month, and
yet still managed to win the national title.  The team is made of steel, and deserves the heartiest of congratulations.  Way to go Buffs!  You did Spencer, yourselves, and the University proud.

Happy Monday!


Barteld said...

Good reading as always. Certain we did not have enough advocates in the room and the usual bias against western teams. Winning the NIT would be a plus for this program.

Kudos for the shoutout to the ski team. They need more coverage. They invited the Nelson family to the final day and are pictured in their celebration which was touching.

RumblinBuff said...

Thanks both for the compliments and for reading!

It'll be interesting to see how focused we are Wednesday night. We have the talent to go far in the NIT, but, as is always the case, it's the teams that care to be there that do the best in 'the invitational.'

aaron.jordan said...

Klekamp and I just picked up ticket's for Wednesday's game.

I still can't believe we didn't make it in, when they have used play down the stretch as a reason for letting teams in before, they seem to have selectively ignored it in our case =(

RumblinBuff said...

No kidding Aaron. The past decade I've had it pounded into my head that who you beat and when you beat them is the primary factor. Now it's rpi and non con sos.

lol, whatever, can't do anything about it now. Glad you guys are coming Wednesday, we need as many people as possible. Fill that gym!