Claremore Daily Progress

Sports

March 13, 2014

Selection Committee has some tough seeding to do

NEW YORK — The power conferences still have a couple of days before they reach the semifinals of their conference tournaments. That doesn't stop the chatter of who will get what seed when the 68-team bracket for the NCAA tournament is revealed Sunday at 7 p.m.

What has fueled the latest seed talk is the injury to Kansas freshman center Joel Embiid. A second opinion on his back from a specialist in Los Angeles confirmed the initial diagnosis of a stress fracture. He was told the best prescription is rest and rehabilitation.

That means he will definitely not play in the Big 12 tournament this week and the first weekend of the three-week NCAA tournament.

It isn't even sure he'll be back for the regional weekend should the Jayhawks get there.

What should the Selection Committee do? Do they seed Kansas based on the way the Jayhawks played with Embiid's inside presence or do they try and see what the Jayhawks might be like without him? It's hard to not be impressed with a team that went 23-8, has an RPI of 3 and won six games over teams in the RPI's top 25, the most of any team.

''The committee is well aware of those injuries. We will follow those injuries. We will get updates on the injuries. We already received a report this morning about an injury,'' committee chairman Ron Wellman said in a conference call Wednesday. ''We will be well aware of the latest information and whether that individual is going to be available to his team during the tournament.

''It is a discussion point with the committee, the injury reports, how that might impact the team. Again, it is up to the individual committee member as to how much weight they want to put on that particular injury.''

Well that puts some fog on the window. Everyone will find out the answer on Sunday.

Here's some other teams who have situations the committee will have to look at:

SYRACUSE: The Orange stumbled to the finish after opening the season 25-0. Their offense certainly became stagnant, but how much of that had to do with big man Jerami Grant playing with a bad back and missing some games because of it. With Grant the inside game is much better and he makes the famed zone defense even more effective with his length.

Once considered a lock to be a No. 1 seed, Syracuse is chasing a 2 seed, 3 at the worst and the committee has to look at how much Grant's absence meant to a team that has a 27-4 record, 9 RPI and seven wins over teams in the RPI's top 50.

VIRGINIA: It's not an injury that will give the committee pause over the Cavaliers, it's their schedule. Virginia won the Atlantic Coast Conference title outright for the first time since Ralph Sampson was in Charlottesville 33 years ago. The unbalanced schedule kept the Cavaliers from playing two games against Duke, North Carolina and Syracuse. It's not their fault, that's the schedule they were dealt and they did an impressive job. But Virginia finished with a 25-6 record, a 12 RPI and it only had 10 wins over teams in the RPI's top 100.

WICHITA STATE: The debate of whether or not the Shockers deserve a No. 1 seed is over. They finished unbeaten, 34-0, the first team to enter the NCAA tournament undefeated since UNLV in 1991. Still, there's a nagging little itch that won't go away. The Shockers have a 5 RPI but their strength of schedule is 334. Granted, they can only play who is on their schedule but the Missouri Valley Conference didn't provide much opposition. Wichita State has one win over an RPI top 25, two over top 50 and seven over teams ranked 51 to 100.

MICHIGAN STATE: When the Spartans were fully healthy they were ranked No. 1 in the nation. Then the injuries started piling up. Adreian Payne, Keith Appling, Branden Dawson and Gary Harris all missed various amounts of time and Michigan State was watching the losses accumulate and the Big Ten title went to rival Michigan. No longer a team that will be a 1 or 2 seed, the Spartans will probably be a 4 or 5, but if the committee looks at the injury bug and seven wins over teams with a top 50 RPI, could they move them up a line or two?

OKLAHOMA STATE: There can't be many people who didn't see the tape of star guard Marcus Smart shoving a fan at Texas Tech. He was suspended for three games that were part of a seven-game slide that accounted for more than half of the Cowboys' 11 losses. Ten of Oklahoma State's losses this season were to teams in the RPI's top 50 and the Cowboys did beat five teams in that same range. Oklahoma State is better than its 40 RPI, but the committee is under no obligation to treat a suspension as it would an injury. Still, if the Cowboys get an 8 or 9 seed as expected, would you want to be a No. 1 seed who sees them in the second game of the tournament?



 

1
Text Only
Sports
  • DSC_0111web.jpg ‘Team behind the Team’

    For the second-straight year, the Claremore Zebra student training staff will be represented in the Oklahoma Coaches All-State games held in Tulsa.
    Meranda Golbek and Sarah Szcinski, a pair of 2014 Claremore High School graduates, earned All-State honors for their athletic training careers and will join two other student trainers from Jenks and Stillwater High School on the East squad.

    July 19, 2014 1 Photo

  • FISHFRYweb.jpg Claremore QB Club holds Fish Fry Aug. 2

    The Claremore Zebra Quarterback Club will hold its annual Fish Fry fundraiser on Aug. 2 at the Claremore High School cafeteria.

    July 19, 2014 1 Photo

  • MLB: Rangers struggle in 9-3 loss to A's

    A rough month didn't get any better for Texas on Sunday night, even though the game-time temperature of 100 degrees would have seemed to be in the Rangers' favor against Oakland.

    However, they trailed 5-0 in the second inning en route to a 9-3 loss to the Athletics. Texas has lost 15 of its last 18 and dropped to 4-19 in July.

    July 28, 2014

  • Lost Red Sox title ring returned by Yankees fan

    A lost Red Sox World Series ring is back on the finger of its owner, thanks to a nifty pickup by an ardent New York Yankees fan.

    Manhattan restaurant owner Luigi Militello could hardly believe it when he found the shiny 2013 championship ring on a restroom sink at his Luke's Bar and Grill on Thursday night.

    July 28, 2014

  • MLB: First-place Dodgers complete sweep of Giants

    Manager Don Mattingly hardly considers a late-July sweep in San Francisco a turning point to put his Dodgers in the driver's seat atop the NL West.

    Yet coming off consecutive series losses at St. Louis and Pittsburgh, Los Angeles needed some sort of spark as August approaches. The Dodgers found it in the ballpark of their biggest rival, and left the Bay Area in first place following an emphatic three-game swing.

    Carl Crawford hit an RBI triple to back Hyun-Jin Ryu's third straight victory, and division-leading Los Angeles beat the Giants 4-3 Sunday night to establish some momentum behind their pitching and offense.

    July 28, 2014

  • NBA: Lakers set on hiring Byron Scott for new coach

    The Los Angeles Lakers have waited nearly three months to hire a new coach, and they're apparently making Byron Scott wait a few more days.

    Scott said this weekend that he has been hired by the Lakers, but the club insisted Sunday that no deal has been reached.

    July 28, 2014

  • NASCAR: Jeff Gordon claims fifth Brickyard 400 title

    With a tinge of gray hair at his temples, his hat on backward and his two young children by his side, Jeff Gordon celebrated as if he was 23 years old again.

    Gordon won a NASCAR-record fifth Brickyard 400 on Sunday, eight days before his 43rd birthday and on the weekend Indianapolis Motor Speedway celebrated the 20th anniversary of his first Brickyard victory.

    July 28, 2014

  • MLB: Thomas, Torre highlight HOF class

    Frank Thomas choked back tears, Joe Torre apologized for leaving people out of his speech and Tony La Russa said he felt uneasy.

    Being enshrined in the Hall of Fame can have those effects, even on the greats.

    Thomas, pitchers Tom Glavine and Greg Maddux, and managers Bobby Cox, Torre and La Russa were inducted into the baseball shrine Sunday, and all paid special tribute to their families before an adoring crowd of nearly 50,000.

    July 28, 2014

  • Blackmon a 'big deal' for the wrong reasons

    The sports world is littered with gifted athletes whose self-destructive tendencies derailed what should have been promising careers. Ex-Oklahoma State wide receiver Justin Blackmon appears to be on that well-worn path with his latest arrest.

    July 27, 2014

  • BASEBALL: Three Rivers Bandits notch 8th-straight win

    The Three Rivers Bandits seem to be getting hot when they need to be, heading into next week’s state tournament.

    The Bartlesville Indians were victims of the heat as the Bandits swept a doubleheader from them, 2-0 and then 9-2, on Saturday at Connors State College for their eighth straight win.

    July 27, 2014