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jazzdelmar
12-08-2014, 09:05 AM
If a committee picked the Final Four ...

By Dana O'Neil

The copycat selection committee, exhausted with the task of choosing four football teams, finished its work on Sunday, making room for the first College Football Playoff ... and clearing the space so the real selection committee can get to work over the next four months.

No disrespect here (OK, maybe a little) but choosing four teams from essentially five leagues after 12 games, while challenging, is what the college hoops committee calls Tuesday -- before lunch.

But let's pretend for a minute that basketball was football and the original selection committee was tasked with choosing just a Final Four and this was their weekend to announce it.

Who would it be and, since hoops still has four months, who might bump those four out?

The Separatists: Kentucky, Duke, Arizona, Wisconsin
Today, based on talent, eye test and just about everything else, this would be the Final Four. (Hey, football: We coined it. We own it).

Not exactly a stretch, but this isn't about predictions. This is about here and now, and these four are clearly the best.*

They are bigger (somehow Kentucky makes 6-foot-7 Alex Poythress look like a munchkin), stronger, deeper and flat out better. And yes, Wisconsin already has a loss. To Duke. Big deal. Football somehow managed to overlook Ohio State's loss to Virginia Tech, so surely the Badgers' misstep is forgivable.

*Gonzaga belongs here, but the Final Five doesn't work OK, so someone had to be left out, and for now that someone is Gonzaga, but it's tough to put the Zags on the outside.

Some, including my colleague Myron Medcalf, might argue against Mark Few's team. That's reasonable. But after watching the Zags play a stingy defensive team like Arizona on the road, I'm even more sold, despite the L.

Now, will this group make the Final Four? Probably not. College basketball is not a meritocracy. The best and most talented team does not always win it all, which is why some other teams need to be considered.

JAGzag
12-08-2014, 09:20 AM
If we want to be compared with the big programs - and we do from a success and respect standpoint - then we abide by their criteria. Fact is we haven't done much in the Tourney recently and have never been to a Final Four. Don't blame Medcalf for his perspectives, I just hope we prove him wrong once.

gonzagafan62
12-08-2014, 09:32 AM
I think this is actually LOVE for Gonzaga. They still think we are a Top 5 team in the country .... And by that measure, Ill take it.

DixieZag
12-08-2014, 09:52 AM
If we want to be compared with the big programs - and we do from a success and respect standpoint - then we abide by their criteria. Fact is we haven't done much in the Tourney recently and have never been to a Final Four. Don't blame Medcalf for his perspectives, I just hope we prove him wrong once.

Oh, I can blame him plenty. If we've learned nothing about what is "stated" each year, it's that past years matter not in the least. Our boy Medcalf can apparently watch us take the number 3 team to within one shot of winning, and a close OT, on their home floor and still argue that we shouldn't be in that top 5? Oh, I definitely can blame that. Because that has to be based precisely upon past performance which is stated right up front as irrelevant.

JAGzag
12-08-2014, 10:05 AM
Oh, I can blame him plenty. If we've learned nothing about what is "stated" each year, it's that past years matter not in the least. Our boy Medcalf can apparently watch us take the number 3 team to within one shot of winning, and a close OT, on their home floor and still argue that we shouldn't be in that top 5? Oh, I definitely can blame that. Because that has to be based precisely upon past performance which is stated right up front as irrelevant.

We can't just ignore history as fans. In the defense of the doubters, there have been many "best team ever" teams, each of which fizzle out in March. Sure there are plenty of excuses each year, but the losses remain and the "doubters" are "proven" correct. I'm all in the cool aid this year too, but our very recent history of tourney busts exist. I hope this year will be different. All guys like Medcalf are saying is, until we prove we can make it and win when it matters, he and others will remain doubters. I like the challenge.

MDABE80
12-08-2014, 10:15 AM
Abe went back and forth with him after his cheap article this past weekend. He thinks he's funny.. I don't. He knows.

JAGzag
12-08-2014, 10:20 AM
Abe went back and forth with him after his cheap article this past weekend. He thinks he's funny.. I don't. He knows.

Why is Abe speaking in the third person? :)