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Hoops and oops

March 14, 2011
By MIKE MATHISON

The NCAA selection committee was terrible again.

It's getting old because it happens every year.

Villanova, Michigan State, UAB, VCU and Clemson should not be a part of the tournament.

Yet, they get to tee it up this week while Virginia Tech, St. Mary's, Colorado, Harvard and Alabama head to the lower-tier NIT.

I don't understand why it is so hard to get it right.

Colorado beat Kansas State three times, beat Missouri and Texas.

And, I'm tired of hearing Jim Nantz and Clark Kellogg fawn all over the committee chair, this time Ohio State Athletic Director Gene Smith, telling the guy how great of a job the committee did under the tough circumstances.

Sorry, folks, the job is not that hard.

Villanova, losers of 10 of its last 15, a No. 8 seed?

Michigan State, 7-9 in its last 16, a No. 10 seed?

UAB, VCU and Clemson didn't beat anybody had one good win between them.

Pitt is still not a No. 1 seed. The Panthers are overrated again and Old Dominion can beat them in the second round. If ODU doesn't, Kansas State will.

West Virginia is not a No. 5 seed. It had some good wins, but too inconsistent. Unfortunately for the Mountaineers, they will get Kentucky in the second round.

Ohio State got no favors as the overall No. 1 seed.

The Buckeyes get an underseeded George Mason in the second round and could get upset. George Mason is that good. It has lost one game since Jan. 12.

Ohio State then eventually gets Kentucky and Syracuse or North Carolina.

So, here it goes, my predictions.

Ohio State beats Syracuse; Duke beats UConn; Kansas beats Purdue and Kansas State beats St. John's to get to the Final Four.

The Buckeyes beat the Blue Devils and the Jayhawks knock off their in-state rivals.

Ohio State beats Kansas for the national championship.

I think the Jayhawks have the easiest road to the Final Four.

Upsets to look out for: Belmont over Wisconsin; Oakland over Texas; Penn State over Temple; Missouri over Cincinnati.

Ohio State scares me a bit because it tends to shoot too many threes and forgets to get the ball inside. I think Dallas Lauderdale spends a little too much time on the bench.

The key for the Buckeyes is Jon Diebler.

If he continues to bury threes like he has the past two weeks, no one can touch Ohio State.

I don't like Pitt because it does not defend hard on the perimeter and goes through long stretches where offense is an after thought.

Notre Dame is too much of a perimeter team and when it faces a team that likes to defend 15 feet-and-out, the Irish are in trouble.

The play-in games are a joke.

But, so are the conference tournaments.

It's time to get this right.

Go back to 64 teams and forget the conference tournaments. If you cannot win your conference in a 16-game schedule, you should not get a second chance during one week when your team was nothing better than mediocre during two months of conference play.

OK, enough of college basketball.

It is time for the West Virginia high school basketball coaches to figure out another way to seed the state tournament because this double elimination this is a mess.

Every playoff game should mean something and that is not the case.

A Madonna loss to Wheeling Central meant nothing.

A Weir loss to Magnolia means nothing.

A Wheeling Park loss to Morgantown meant nothing.

That should never happen in the playoffs.

This is not the best-of-3 like baseball or softball.

This is basketball.

Win and advance.

Lose and go home.

Why can't it be that simple.

Seed the entire state and have a real state tournament.

Just because some people are happier with this system than the old one doesn't make this system good.

Losing your sectional championship and still having a chance to win a state championship makes no sense.

Here is my idea.

Class AAA has 40 teams, which means eight play-in games on Saturday afternoon with No. 40 visiting No. 25 all the way down to No. 33 going to No. 32.

Once done, you have 32 teams with four teams in eight pods, so to speak, the top eight-ranked teams being the hosts, which could be done through the Massey ratings.

The next rounds are played on a Friday night with two games at 6 p.m. and 8 p.m. with the championship game Saturday at 2 p.m. and the winner goes to the state tournament.

The eight seeds at the state tournament are based on the Massey ratings of the eight teams that are left standing.

Is that really that hard?

You lose, you're done.

I believe Oak Hill lose its sectional game a year ago and went on to win the state championship.

That's not right.

Finally, on the high school football front, the Weir High football program has a new coach in Jason Kekseo, who comes over from Avonworth High School, a Class A WPIAL team.

Kekseo was the head coach for six years, taking over a bad program and going 39-24 overall, including 29-6 in the last three years and the Antelopes' first undefeated regular season since 1959 and two Class A WPIAL semifinal playoff appearances.

Last week the school district decided to open his position at Avonworth, but no one spoke on the situation.

"It's an odd situation having so much success and having this happen." Kekseo said to Mike White of the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette.

So, here is my take on that - someone's son didn't get enough playing time and someone had enough pull to make sure Kekseo did not come back.

Just a guess on my part.

You see, I know something like that would never happen at Weir High - you know, where some freshman didn't get enough playing time according to papa.

Remember that scene in "Remember the Titans" where Sheryl Yoast says, "He's getting beat like he stole something" in reference to coach taking out Alan Bosley (played by Ryan Gosling) and Bosley's dad yelling at the coach that he better not take out his son?

Yeah, it's like that.

Dear Weir High football supporters, people wanted Eric Meek out and he's gone.

People wanted Tom Taylor out and he's gone.

Now, you have another new coach.

It's time for everyone, everyone, to jump on the Red Riders bandwagon and give this new coach the support you never gave Taylor or Meek.

It's time to get in one corner, not four like there was with Meek and Taylor.

It's time for everyone to either push or pull the bandwagon, not do both like you did with Meek and Taylor.

It is the only way to get the program back on its collective feet.

Jump on or shut up.

(Mathison, a Weirton resident, is the sports editor of the Herald-Star and The Weirton Daily Times and can be contacted at mmathison@heraldstaronline.com)

 
 

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