Thank you NCAA Basketball Committee (Committee) for correctly seeding PAC 12 regular season and PAC 12 Tournament Champion Oregon at No.1 in the West Region. The PAC 12 tied the ACC and the B 12 with the most teams in the 2016 NCAA Tournament field at 7. It certainly seems logical that the champions of all 3 conferences would receive a No. 1 seed as happened with the Kansas Jayhawks the top seed in the South, the North Carolina Tar Heels No. 1 in the East and as noted above the Oregon Ducks coming out on top of the Left Coast seeds.
Of course the so-called ‘Experts’ east of the Rocky Mountains have absolutely no problem with basketball blue bloods Kansas and UNC being on the top line. But Oregon? Oregon! A number one seed? A school never once worthy of a top seed? OMG was the Committee smoking some of that fine Beaver State cannabis?
Yeah Oregon won the first NCAA Tournament played in 1939 when the game was played by white boys with the hops of a pregnant grizzly bear, but the team from Eugene has done nothing on the hardwood since! Besides, who in their right mind stays up late enough to watch inferior Left Coast hoops? This cannot happen here! If this is not un-American, then what is?
The whining has not stopped since CBS announced Oregon’s seed on Sunday’s Selection Show. In an article that appeared in the Bend (Oregon) Bulletin on Monday, March 14, 2016 entitled ‘Breaking down the bracket,’ here is what one undisclosed ‘Expert’ had to say about the West Region, the Ducks and the Beavers. The author (Author) also took a wholly unnecessary and undeserved shot at Stanford’s AD! I’m pretty certain this scribe is not a PAC 12 fan.
To wit: ‘West Coast bias? Oregon a No. 1 seed? Over Michigan State? Seriously? It isn’t that Oregon isn’t a good team [WOW! Thanks for the back handed compliment.]; the Ducks played well enough to earn a No. 2 seed. But apparently Stanford athletic director Bernard Muir wants to be sure his conference brethren buy him very nice Christmas presents – and they should. Muir somehow convinced his pals [Did Mr. Muir hypnotize the other 9 Committee members? Did he promise them all an honorary Stanford degree?] to make the Ducks a top seed and to make Oregon State a No. 7 seed in the same region. [What, after all, is a team located in Corvallis, Oregon doing in the West Region?] Who benefits from this silliness? Well, perhaps Saint Joseph’s, way under seeded at No. 8 which – if it can get by Cincinnati – might very well knock off the Ducks and reach the Sweet 16 for the first time since 2004.’
Nasty letter to follow?
In rebuttal, let’s first address Oregon’s bona fides compared to that of the Michigan State Spartans. Oregon finished No. 2 in the final RPI regular season rankings. Sparty came in at 12. Advantage: Ducks.
Second, here are the final Strength of Schedule rankings as determined by the long time network broadcast partner of the NCAA Tournament, CBS. Oregon No.3. CBS ranks Michigan State as having the 48th best Strength of Schedule. Advantage Oregon.
Third, as noted above the 12 member PAC 12 is sending 7 teams to the Tournament. The 14 team B1G is sending 6. Advantage Oregon.
Fourth, Oregon won both the PAC 12 regular season title and the PAC 12 conference tournament. Michigan State won the B1G tourney but it was the Indiana Hoosiers that copped the regular season title. Advantage Oregon.
Dear Author, sorry for the inconvenient facts. The ONLY way you can argue that Michigan State should be a higher seed than the Oregon Ducks is if you are suffering from a massive infection of East Coast Bias and are consequently rendered delusional. And by the way, you certainly owe Bernard Muir and ‘his pals’ an apology. That was a childish chicken poop shot.
It may also interest you to know that Syracuse coach Jim Boeheim, who has been on the scene for decades and has had a fair amount of success in the Tournament, has opined that he believes Oregon is one of the teams with a legitimate shot of winning the West Regional in Anaheim, going to the Final Four in Houston and cutting down the nets. But compared to Sir Author what does little old Jimmy know?
Maybe all of this dung is being catapulted in the direction of Eugene because of the belief that Oregon is a Tournament Johnny-come-lately. However, in addition to the Oregon ‘Tall Firs’ defeating Ohio State and winning the first NCAA Tournament in 1939, the Ducks have made other 12 Tournament appearances. Its overall record is 16 – 12. The Ducks failed to advance in 1961, 1995, 2000, 2003 and 2008. But they did advance in 1945, 1960, 2002, reaching the Elite 8, 2007, reaching the Elite 8 and in 2013, 2014 and 2015 advancing under the direction of the very underrated Oregon coach, Dana Altman.
These numbers are certainly not in Kansas, Duke, UNC, Kentucky and in fairness, Michigan State territory, but they are more than respectable. Perhaps it is Oregon brand envy that has the Author so incensed as the Ducks brand has soared in recent years with the help of NIKE. Oregon has been on the cutting edge in introducing an up tempo football game roundly copied by many college football teams today, as well as being on the cutting edge of football fashion that is also roundly copied these days.
Oregon finished runner up in football twice in the last 5 seasons. And the Ducks do not shy away from playing worthy opponents out of conference, including the above mentioned Michigan State both in Eugene and in East Lansing. Oregon has become so potent in football that Texas A+M and Georgia of the ‘mighty SEC’chickened out on a home and home series with the Ducks. Lee Corso recently said that Eugene is his favorite College Game Day location and Puddles the Duck is his favorite mascot.
I wonder if the Author stays up after consuming his or her bedtime warm milk and cookies, long enough to watch the Ducks actually play football and basketball? I guess it is far easier to hurl horse apples in the Left Coast’s direction rather than take some time to study the facts? Whether the Ducks brand is well known nationally is answered most certainly in the affirmative by a recent study of eBay performed by Airfoil Marketing and Advertising.
Using data analytics, eBay was studied from the opening of college hoops season through March 6, 2016 to determine the 64 most searched teams. This study determined that ‘If March Madness were a popularity contest, eBay crowns Oregon as the NCAA Champions.’ Finishing a distant second was the Florida Gators.
This may come as a surprise to the Author but both Oregon and Oregon State have produced a Heisman Trophy winner. Both Corvallis and Eugene have running water and indoor plumbing. And for the third year in a row United Van Lines reports that in 2015 more people moved to Oregon than to any other state; moves into the Beaver State have increased 10% over the same three year period. It is quite nice out this way Sir or Madam. You should come and visit and perhaps catch a Ducks basketball game?
Or, notwithstanding that it gets late too early back east, take a nappy in the afternoon so you can watch PAC 12 football and basketball in the evening. I assure you that in both sports you will see very competitive ball. And FYI, The Oregon Men’s and Women’s teams just swept the NCAA Indoor Track + Field Championships adding to The Conference of Champions insurmountable lead in total NCAA titles.
Please stop spreading this brand of male bovine excrement and Peace Out.
Jon Joseph grew up in Boston, Massachusetts but has been blessed to have lived long enough in the west to have exorcised all east coast bias. He played football in college and has passionately followed the game for seven decades. A retired corporate attorney Jon has lectured across the country and published numerous articles on banking and gaming law. Now a resident of Aiken South Carolina, Jon follows college football across the nation with a focus on the Conference of Champions and the Ducks.
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