Saturday, March 23, 2013

Get Those Damn Mid-Majors Off My Lawn

So this year's narrative is "mid-majors had a bad day so they don't deserve high seeds!" Which is, of course, arrant nonsense. Plenty of teams from the quote-unquote "power" conferences - and by "power" I mean "plays football" - have gone down like slabs of beef as well. But a couple of uncharacteristic performances - VCU getting run out of the building? Wichita State hitting 7 3s in a row? - have got the BCS cavemen yammering to beat the band.

There's a reason they're making noise about Gonzaga, Butler and VCU all losing on the same day, of course. It's because those three programs in particular have demonstrated that they can beat the big boys on a regular basis. The Neanderthals may howl about Gonzaga going down in the round of 32 - I refuse to call it the third round - but it was precisely two years ago when Butler took out a big conference #1 seed in precisely that same round. (Thank you, Pitt, whose football underachieving may have had more to do with the final dissolution of the Big East than anyone would care to admit)
In the end, it's just confirmation bias at its finest. Joe Sheehan schooled Jay Bilas on Twitter last week about assuming that high-majors automatically won at mid-major venues; the math shows it's a little more competitive. But for those who want only the rich kids invited to the party, every time a mid-major goes down it's proof, and every time a high-major does it's a dark miracle.
And in the meantime Wichita State is still alive. And LaSalle took out K-State. And Temple took out NC State. And SDSU took out Oklahoma. And Creighton beat Cincinnati. And Florida Gulf Coast, well, you get the idea.

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