John Feinstein: John Feinstein Blog: NCAA Tournament Selection Committee Needs To Be Selected Differently
THAT’S why I bash the committee all the time — not because they get things wrong — but because they keep insisting we believe things they know are patently untrue. And then their public relations machine goes to work trying to convince the world — with ample help from CBS and TNT—that it’s all good, that everything they’re doing is in the best interest of the ‘student-athletes.’
Here’s who SHOULD be on the committee instead of people with that sort of ‘extensive,’ experience: John Thompson, Jim Calhoun, Gary Williams, Ben Howland and Dick Bennett. Those are five names off the top of my head. You know what they have in common? All five coached teams to The Final Four. The first three won national championships. Let’s see, who knows more about basketball, those five or Muir, Cone, Ron Wellman and Jaime Zaninovich? How about any ONE of those five knows more basketball than the entire committee put together.
This is the annual "let's complain about the committee" column. No matter what method you do, there's going to be LOTS of complaining. No matter if it's just humans, just computers, or a hybrid of the two. Someone is going to get screwed, that's a given. The biggest controversy to me this year was Louisville getting underseeded, but you could argue that it was actually SMU's snub, or as I found last night Shane Ryan thinking MD deserved to be in. As far as I'm concerned getting the right 32 is more important than getting the right 68 seeded correctly. This year felt rather tame compared to years past.
The problems was his proposed committee is obvious -- John Thompson is still a presence at GTown and his son coaches there. Calhoun is still around the UConn program. GW, while I think could be objective, he still has obvious ties. The problem with Ben Howland is he could come back to coaching in addition to ties to many schools including Pitt and UCLA. And last with Dick Bennett, he's got ties to Wisc-GB, Wisc, and Wazzu in addition to his son being the coach of UVA.
But sure we should probably do this so he can complain next year on how wrong his handpicked committee was.