It is good to be in a power conference this time of the year (unless you are a student athlete who is just worn out and wants the season to come to an end!).
The PAC-12 (still the PAC-10 to me; yes, I am living in the past) put 9 teams into the NCAA DI Championship - Amazing; both in a bad and good way.
Even more amazing to me is that the SEC put in 8 teams; the SEC has never won a NCAA women's title and has only made 1 finals appearance in the history of the sport. Either the SEC has dramatically improved their talent levels, or.......they are overrated as a conference.
And now, 1st and 2nd round picks, observations and non linear comments:
- Only seeding the tournament 16 spots is an insult to our sport. The NCAA Women's Division I National Championship is a hybrid quasi regional tournament; Texas State plays Texas the opening round which means that TSU is viewed as the 'worst' team in the tournament by the common fan because they are playing the #1 seeded team. There are way too many excuses as to why the NCAA only seeds 1-16 but they are all lame - Until our National Championship is truly a 'national' event, our sport will always be 2nd tier.
- Selection Show? I Google'ed, Bing'ed, Yahoo'ed and asked the mail man but could not find the Selection Show for the DI Tournament. I did find the selection show for the NCAA DII and DIII tournaments. It must have been on somewhere, but I could not find it!
- UT San Antonio vs Texas A&M will be a good match. Both rosters are loaded with Texas kids, so the players are competing against club and high school players they have been friends/enemies with for years!
- The State of Texas Regional - Only 4 teams from Texas made the NCAA Tourney and all four are playing in Austin; U Texas, U Texas at San Antonio, Texas State and Texas A&M - I would go for the accents and the BBQ!!!
- New Mexico State vs Arizona will be another good match up. NMSU is an underrated program, which knows how to win and will be fired up to take down a Pac 10/12/14/18x2 program.
- Nobody other than Nebraska from the state of Nebraska must have made the tournament because their section actually looks like it was seeded or the NCAA just really wanted to provide Oregon, Miami (FL) and Fairfield the opportunity to see Lincoln in December (Friday weather; 23 high/3 low).
- North Carolina vs California - Smart versus Smarter.
- Illinois must have played an unreal tough schedule, because they have a 16-14 record but received a #13 seed and get to host the first two rounds!
- I would pay cash money to see Louisville vs Marquette - Both teams are under rated because they don't come from a Power Conference but both teams are very good and play a high level of volleyball. Tough, tough 1st round match up!
- Power of the SEC; Mizzou received a #4 seed. Granted, they ran the table this year and went undefeated (congratulations on a historic season!!!) but their non-conference schedule was not tough (Samford, Arkansas State, Houston Baptist, Yale, Colgate, etc). I thought they were going to get Shoji'ed, but the sweet smell of the SEC mesmerized the selection committee.
- The college fans wish it was a football match up; LSU vs Michigan.
- Power Conference going down; Creighton vs Arkansas. I gotta believe the Arkansas coach saw that matchup and immediately started to figure out how to 'motivate' the players. As a coach, it was always a challenge to get players to respect superior teams which do not have superior names.
- The free trip to Hawaii winner this season is.....Idaho State!! 82 degrees on Friday under partly cloudy skies with the gentle trade winds. Oh, and don't forget the 7,000 fans who will come to the match!!!!
- Dude, where's my seed? Colorado State goes 28-1 and does not get a top 16 seed - Amazing.
- The Hypotenuse award goes to New Hampshire. The 2,571mile long angle trip out to play USC.
- The college fans wish it was a football match up, part 2; Alabama vs Oklahoma.
- The Beasty Boy's match up; Penn State vs No Rest til LIU Brooklyn!
My predictions for the Sweet 16 (my bad, we are not allowed to use that term because NCAA basketball has it copyrighted):
After exhaustive research, I have learned that not until 12/14 does the NCAA Division I Women's Volleyball Tournament get televised. ESPN3 does not count.
If any VolleyFans know of early round matches which will be televised on TV (again, watching the game on the computer does not count), please email me at firstname.lastname@example.org, so I can spread the information!