Thursday, March 22, 2007

Will Jim Boeheim Please Stop Whining Now?

When the pairings for the NCAA tournament were announced, Syracuse head coach Jim Boeheim appeared on ESPN as frequently as he could to air his grievances on the perceived snub his Orangemen received at the hands of the NCAA selection committee. As the weeks progressed and the N.I.T. tournament commenced, it was apparent that Boeheim still felt that his team was wronged, and that attitude trickled down to his entire team in their comments to the media. After losing in the quarterfinals to Clemson tonight in a game that was much closer than it should have been, hopefully everyone realizes that the N.I.T. is exactly where Syracuse belonged. More importantly, I hope this game is enough to shut Boeheim up... at least until the start of next season.

Why was Boeheim so upset about missing the NCAAs this year anyway? Basketball fans already saw this storyline last year when we pretended for a week that Gerry McNamara somehow symbolized all that was good about college basketball as he led Syracuse to the Big East tournament title- and then proceeded to watch the Orangemen get ousted in the first round by Texas A&M. Even if Syracuse had been invited to the tournament this year instead of a less deserving at-large team (Stanford), is there any reason to expect that Syracuse would have been able to get past the first round of the NCAA's when it couldn't even make it to the Final Four of the N.I.T.- a tournament designed for the bubble teams?

I can understand a school like Air Force being upset about not making the tournament. For a school such as Air Force, just making the big dance is a huge accomplishment in itself. But at Syracuse, the bar should be set a lot higher. Jim Boeheim is a hall of fame coach who has appeared in three NCAA championship games. Would a first round loss in this tournament really have transformed this disappointing season into a success? The University of Arizona had a season similar to that of Syracuse. I'm pretty sure that after their first round loss, none of Arizona's fans took any consolation in the fact that their team at least made the tournament. They're probably just glad it's over. Now Syracuse's season is over as well, and it's time for Jimmy to take his ball and go home...quietly.

(As an aside, if asked before the tournament started, I would have said that the N.I.T. had long since outlived its usefulness and should be discontinued. However today at both Clemson and Air Force, fans rushed the court after victories sent the home team to Madison Square Garden for the semifinals. So either college kids will get excited about virtually anything, or the N.I.T. still has some credibility afterall. Considering how happy I used to get in college about a free pizza, it's probably a little of both.)

Labels: , ,


Post a Comment

Subscribe to Post Comments [Atom]

<< Home