Monday, March 09, 2009

The requisite early-March Conference Tourneys Suck post

We've said it multiple times since we've been writing this site: conference tournaments suck.

They're fun -- double OT in the Ohio Valley! OT in the Missouri Valley! Porn in the San Fernando Valley! -- but completely unfair to the top teams and gives the lower teams a second life to reach the Dance.

Of course the only reason for these tourneys is money. TV deals, ticket sales and other revenue dollars that come from extra games could be the reason why Kentucky gets in the dance (by winning the weak SEC tournament) or UConn loses a No. 1 seed (by getting knocked off in the brutal Big East prematurely).

For teams like Pitt, UConn and UNC, all the conference tournament will do is give those teams a chance to lose their top seed. There's no room for improvement with those teams, only room to fall.

The conference tournament, while we're talking No. 1 seeds, makes a little more sense for Oklahoma. The Sooners play in a league with two divisions (which we feel is the only type of conference where a conference tournament makes sense), but OU will also have a chance to show they're the best team in the Big 12 when healthy. (Big 12 tourney sucks for Kansas though).

Things are fun in the small leagues. Often the tourneys are at the top seed's home site, so you don't get the bullshit "neutral" sites that have the feel of NBA games with the larger leagues. That home-court advantage makes perfect sense as it gives an added advantage to a team who has already proved it's the best team in the league.

But, as inherent by that last sentence, the top seed in a small conference has already proved it's the best team in the league. WHY THE FUCK DO THEY HAVE TO DO IT AGAIN???

Jacksonville, 1-26 in 2005-06, gets run out of the gym by Eastern Tennessee State and misses a chance to go to the Dance for the first time since 1986 despite being the Atlantic Sun's top seed. But hey, you get to play in the NIT, Dolphins! Hooray!

So welcome to Championship Week where things don't make sense, grown men cry and you can use words like Hilltoppers, Robert Morris and Rider and not sound like a fucking idiot.


GMoney said...

I strenuously disagree here. If they are the best team in the league, they should have no problem proving it in a tournament format that they are probably hosting anyway.

Having been to the MAC tourney in Cleveland a handful of times recently, it is a very well done event.

JMC said...

I can't get as worked up as you do about this one Zach but I tend to agree. It sucks when there's a pretty good team from a mediocre conference that ends up missing the tourney because they lose in their conference tourney - and it could be because someone was out with an injury or some freaky thing like that.

What sucks MORE to me though, is when a really crappy team wins a bigger conference tournament, and because they got in, some bubble team that is way more deserving doesn't get in. For instance, let's say Oregon State manages to win the Pac-10 tourney. All the deserving teams from the Pac-10 still get in, but UCLA or Washington or whoever that should have been in with the automatic bid now has to get in with an at-large bid, so some bubble team gets forced out because there are less at-large bids available.