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The NCAA Tournament shows that it’s crazy to play tough schedules without a conference

The NCAA Tournament shows that it’s crazy to play tough schedules without a conference

In the middle of summer, when a lot of people are thinking about the sun, beaches and maybe 18 holes, and those who follow the sport going to football or baseball games or getting psychology to go outside of NFL training, they are building the core of college basketball season. by phone.

The non-conference programming process also receives modest attention from those who follow the sport – except perhaps who will play for CBS Sports ’regular tweets from Jon Rothstein. When the whole schedule is over, while college football teams usually take the field, then we can hear a debate about who the cowardly coaches are, due to poor assembled competition.

This process was not the same as this year, not with uncertainty about how a season would be built through the pandemic. However, the message that was finally sent in what happened in 2020-21 should not be ignored by coaches who want to continue to be successful and who are working.

Hard organization is the bet of the absorbers.

MORE CRAZY MARCH: Live scores | Updated parentheses | TV schedule

If you’re in a major conference and you line up a lot of opponents from other important conferences in the previous conference schedule, maybe you’re doing your best for the sport and, at a better time, selling tickets. There’s a good chance you’re not doing the smartest thing compared to your team’s success.

If you want to find the programs with the toughest schedules this past season, you don’t want to look at the Sweet 16 section for the average schedule of 13 major conference teams still alive in the NCAA Championship. Only Michigan (19) and Alabama (33) have qualified above 50th place. If you consider only the non-conference part of the schedule, the control part of the schools averages 165. Alabama’s 108th ranking is the highest in that category. Michigan, on the other hand, was 261st.

The best place to find coaches who endured difficult schedules: the unemployment line or the bank, whichever metaphor you prefer. Many of them were released and paid for beautiful purchase checks due to problems.

Last season the No. 1 in college basketball, mainly because it could be relieved by games canceled due to COVID breaks, was played by Penn State and interim coach Jim Ferry. His Lions played only one major opponent and won six teams in the NCAA Championship. They finished below .500, and did not hold on.

Indiana played No. 4, including No. 74 in the non-league. Archie Miller’s team also finished below .500, and left immediately after the end of the season.

Minnesota and Richard Pitino? Schedule No. 11. Marquette and Steve Wojciechowski? No. 34. Steve Prohm in the State of Iowa? No. 3.

The Pac-12 is now being celebrated for putting 16 teams in the Sweet 16 team, and many college basketball analysts are dismissing them because they had ruled out the league before. Maybe they were clearer than everyone else in the West. With the exception of UCLA, the non-conference schedule was ranked No. 69, while the other three Pac-12 schools had an average of 267 non-conference hours.

The non-conference teams played by USC, Oregon and Oregon State were: Cal Baptist, Montana, BYU, UConn, UC Irvine, San Francisco (twice), Texas Southern, Santa Clara, UC Riverside, Missouri, Seton Hall, East Washington , Florida A&M, Portland, Wyoming, Portland, UTSA, Portland State and Division II Northwest University.

That’s not exactly climbing the Himalayas.

MORE: The state of Ohio, Purdue proves that deep leagues erode teams

It cost them to grow, but what difference did that make? Oregon has had a team that deserves a team of the top four, but the committee thinks it’s worth 7 growth. Ducks then He pulled the No. 2 Iowa seed off the court in the second round. Oregon State had a No. 312 schedule and had to win an automatic Pac-12 bid to reach the NCAA, but they have won two games and are still playing. USC finished sixth, but got one All-America first-year man he entered the court and handled Kansas. He played the 45th non-conference schedule and the No. 16 general schedule, but found no answer, despite all that experience, to defend Evan Mobley.

College basketball requires early-season competitions that generate interest in the sport and the season, whether it’s the Champions Classic or the ACC / Big Ten Challenge or annual competitions such as Kentucky-Louisville or Xavier-Cincinnati.

If all the success in these produced games may or may not be a pure advantage if the NCAA seed is advantageous, and can be said to be irrelevant or misleading compared to the March success, why worry? Especially when you think it can lead to the rejection of mere struggles or defeats in these games.

That doesn’t mean that those who are doing hard programming are doing it wrong. There are many factors that work out the best way to organize a season: one’s expectations, one’s promise of one’s conference, all-league agreements ordering certain games.

It means that it is much more dangerous to play too difficult a schedule than it is to be very easy. And at the end of the season those who judge everything (literally everything) about the college basketball season based on a single-round tournament are kidnapping with full effort.

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