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What really happened in the NCAA Selection Commmitte War Room


Since last night’s Selection Show, critics have been slamming the NCAA Selection Committee’s bracket decisions. The biggest points of debate were the exclusion of Colorado and Virginia Tech, Kentucky and Louisville’s placement as four seeds, and the even more bewildering placement of Florida as a two seed in the soft Southeast bracket. I didn’t like it, you didn’t like it, and Coach Cal sure didn’t like it. After some intensive investigation, I got to the bottom of just what went down on the 15th floor of the Westin in Indianapolis last week.

[Fade in on a plush hotel conference room littered with papers, whiteboards, and food wrappers. A television sits in the corner. Nine men and one woman sit in chairs around the conference table. Selection Committee Members are as follows: Eugene Smith (2010-2011 Chair), Stanley M. Morrison, Jeffrey A. Hathaway, Lynn Hickey, Mike Bobinski, Dan Beebe, Doug Fullerton, Ron Wellman, Steve Orsini, and Scott Barnes.]

GENE SMITH: Okay guys, we’ve been here since Wednesday and we haven’t really gotten any work done. It’s time to put down the Wiimotes and get to work!

[Groans and moans rumble across the room.]

GENE SMITH: I know, I know…this level of MarioKart is really fun and all, but let’s face it–none of us are going to beat Rainbow Road. Plus, we have to announce the brackets tomorrow afternoon!

[The groans soften as the other committee members put down their wiimotes and straighten in their chairs.]

GENE SMITH: Thank you. Now, Doug, let’s get started. What are your four #1 seeds?

DOUG FULLERTON: Easy: Ohio State, Kansas, Notre Dame and last but not least… [drums his hands on the table for effect and motions to the other members]


GENE SMITH: Well, of course, that’s a given. Duke’s such a good, respectful ball club. Never any controversy there. Stan, what do you think?

STAN MORRISON: Duke as a #1, obviously. I also like Ohio State, Kansas, and…hmm…I don’t know…who else is pretty good year after year? North Carolina? Okay, yeah, them. And, let’s let both Duke and UNC play in Charlotte. Mike and Roy are quality people.

GENE SMITH: Good idea! Okay, the rest of you write down your picks and put them in this “NCAA is A-OKAY” hat. Let’s talk about some teams on the bubble. This is the hard part. Since none of us really know anything about basketball–

STEVE ORSINI: Hey! I take offense to that.

GENE SMITH: Cut the crap, Orsini. We both played football for Notre Dame and run athletic departments. Digger Phelps’ dog has more insight. No media here, we don’t need to pretend. And don’t give me that look, Mike, you played baseball and worked for Disney, for Christ’s sake.

[Steve reluctantly nods and Mike looks down at the table.]

GENE SMITH: Now, back to what I was saying. Since none of us are what you would call “experts” at this stuff, I’ve come up with a very easy way of deciding who gets in and who stays home. Have you seen that ESPN commercial with all the different ways to choose who wins a game? You know, the fish tank, the baby choosing between two stuffed animal mascots, the dartboard…I think they even had Plinko?

[Committee members light up at the mention of Plinko and nod enthusiastically.]

GENE SMITH: So, since we don’t have a Plinko board, we’re going with one of the fairest games in the world: rock, paper, scissors. Lynn, you be Colorado, I’ll be USC…

Twenty minutes later…

GENE SMITH: Great work, everyone. We’ve finally got our field set. On to seeding. What team do we want to discuss first?

JEFFREY HATHAWAY: What about Kentucky? They’ve been quite the bee under our bonnet lately.

GENE SMITH: Amen. That whole Enes Kanter thing was ridiculous. Did you hear about that punk reporter from that little TV show in Louisville? Andrew Frank or something?

[Chuck Wynne takes a break from unpacking takeout food provided by the NCAA and turns around.]

CHUCK: [in a low voice] Drew Franklin…

GENE SMITH: Yeah, that guy. He had the nerve to come up and try to interview Mark Emmert, which, you know, “not gonna happen,” and then someone from the office was dumb enough to grant him an interview. Can you believe it?!

[Chuck quickly leaves the room.]

RON WELLMAN: Just another example of why Kentucky is an embarrassment to our institution. All those “one and done”s? Tacky. Calipari? Shameful. Besides, they stink this year.

LYNN HICKEY: Actually, Ron, they’re kind of on a tear right now. They beat Florida, Vanderbilt, and Tennessee at home to end the season…I mean, did you see them dismantle Alabama today?

GENE SMITH: Whatever, Lynn, go get us some more Dr. Pepper.

[Lynn glares at the group and leaves the room.]

GENE SMITH: Okay, so I’m all for putting Kentucky at a four seed. Just because it was so fun last year, let’s put them against a really smart school, like Princeton. Our buddy Pete will really like that, comedy gold for sportswriters.

STANLEY MORRISON: Even better, let’s make it so their second round game could be against West Virginia. Huggins makes Cal look like a fool! Remember last year?

GENE SMITH: Nice, Stan! Lynn said Florida beat Kentucky, right? Florida’s pretty impressive these days. Didn’t they win the championship back to back a few years ago?

[Half the group shrugs, the other half nods. Lynn returns.]

GENE SMITH: So Florida’s a two…and you know what? If Kentucky beats them tomorrow, let’s throw them a bone and make fun of Pitino. How about Louisville vs. Morehead State in the opening round? Get it? Morehead? Hehe.

[Laughter all around. Scott Barnes makes rude gestures behind Lynn’s back.]

GENE SMITH: Man, we are hilarious. Okay, enough basketball. Let’s eat lunch! Pass me my buffalo chicken wrap.

Article written by Mrs. Tyler Thompson

No, I will not make you a sandwich, but you can follow me on Twitter @MrsTylerKSR or email me.

41 Comments for What really happened in the NCAA Selection Commmitte War Room

  1. BlueGene
    9:32 pm March 14, 2011 Permalink

    Thats good! I like it.

  2. John Calipari
    9:34 pm March 14, 2011 Permalink

    Good work

  3. wazzz he saying ?
    9:42 pm March 14, 2011 Permalink

    I count 4 tournys now, NCAA, NIT, CBT, and a new one called CIC, and Mississippi State isnt in any of them, WTF ? They werent that bad.

  4. Kenny H
    9:43 pm March 14, 2011 Permalink

    Maybe we need to send Drew on another road trip with CN 2 camera. Someone needs to ask Gene Smith how you can reward a team (DUKE) for beating the regular season champ (UNC) and not reward UK for the samething. Top ten team in the nation a 4 seed. BS

  5. catfansam
    9:44 pm March 14, 2011 Permalink

    funny, good work Tyler!

  6. aengr
    9:50 pm March 14, 2011 Permalink

    I like it….but I need more….who and what are the committe members..backgrounds? A 4 seed two notches behind a team you just beat by 16 is crazy………but if if I were an Alabama fan I would probably blow the place up…….can you imagine winning the “play in game” and the Committee taking the LOSER…..

  7. old_school
    9:50 pm March 14, 2011 Permalink

    Entertaining Tyler.

    I think placing Duke and UNC in first round-games in their home state is part of the NCAA “honor code”

  8. 101blue
    9:53 pm March 14, 2011 Permalink

    I think they had copy’s of previous years brackets, that’s why Virginia Tech was left out again.

    and UK is matched up with West Virgina.

    and Duke gets and easy draw that starts 5 miles from their home.

    and Florida is a 2 seed just like the good old days…5 years ago.

    and the Big East getting way too many teams in, and seeds too high.

    and they put in Northern Colorado thinking it was really Colorado.

    or they just pulled the teams out of a hat.

  9. Chris Thomas
    10:01 pm March 14, 2011 Permalink

    F. T. W.


  10. SavannahCat
    10:04 pm March 14, 2011 Permalink

    I think the issue is that they seem to put more time and effort into the last 8 in instead of seeds 1-4. I know it makes for good TV, but the last eight in have no chance in hell of winning a championship. If this tourney is about making sure the teams that have a chance to win it all have a fair shot, then they should put 85% of the committee on seeding the top teams. The rest can decide seeds 5-16. That is Business Management 101, oh, wait, these are all institutional employees, with no business experience….that explains it.

  11. GoCats2
    10:10 pm March 14, 2011 Permalink

    Loved it Tyler but I have to say something. Everyone knows that the top seeds are SUPPOSED to play AS CLOSE TO HOME as possible in the first 2 rounds, right? I mean I hate DUKE and UNC as I have been trained by family for 3 generations but if you are a 1 or a 2 seed you play the first 2 rounds in the closest arena possible. The only issue we have is that there are no close arenas for us. I think the YUM Center has games starting in 2012 and I guarantee if we are a #1 seed we will play there.

  12. GoCats2
    10:14 pm March 14, 2011 Permalink

    By the way 2 of everyones favorite forwards in the history of Kentucky Basketball are STARTING tonight for the Rockets! Hayes has 16 points and 7 rebounds in the 3rd quarter!

  13. Hoss
    10:19 pm March 14, 2011 Permalink


  14. AlanFromTheHangover
    10:21 pm March 14, 2011 Permalink

    I’d really like to go back and see when North Carolina hasn’t had a host site. It just seems like if Duke finished with a 4 or higher seed they just rotate them out with Wiston-Salem, Charlotte, Durham, Greensboro, Raleigh, and Wilmington

  15. UK Since 96
    10:33 pm March 14, 2011 Permalink

    Too funny Tyler! And unfortunately, I have no doubt this is exactly what happened. Clueless.

  16. Mack
    10:34 pm March 14, 2011 Permalink

    Good Stuff.

  17. SavannahCat
    10:37 pm March 14, 2011 Permalink

    11-If we are a 1-4 seed. We’ll play there. If we could get Cincinnati to build a big arena, we could have a Raleigh, Greensboro, Charlotte triangle for the NCAA tourney. Louisville, Cincinnati, Knoxville. I f’n hate UNC and Duke with the passion equal to the sweater vest collection of their fans, but the state of North Carolina has the arenas and the fans. Their fans don’t travel, so if they don’t play close to home, the NCAA misses a payday. We’ve just had the fans, not the arenas….and we travel.

  18. doc
    10:40 pm March 14, 2011 Permalink

    this is addition to last night’s post
    I was reading the article on our slight at being a 4 seed and fla being a 2 seed, that we are the lowest 4 seed at that.
    I was thinking the maybe the ncaa confused us up with fla. when making the seedings. Did they know our rpi is 7.

    We should have been a 2 seed in florida’s bracket. This would have either team playing in tampa. The ncaa did not fathom us(jealous and petty as Hell) as a 2 seed but could for florida? They are aware that our road is tougher than florida’s and that’s malicious on their part. They probably tried to invoke the previous play clause between florida and osu. They gave no credence to uk beating the hell out of fla and is if the championship games did not matter; it did for uconn(like 10th in conference) and their yearly favorite Duke-(fyi- there is always nepotism for duke and an easy path to the final four).
    the ncaa decision appears to be for fun-an intriguing ratings game-with wvu that all uk hatersi.e,ncaa would love if wvu won.
    My point is that they are playing favorites and trying to rig the final four without uk
    It is affront to ncaa to have uk succeed. This may be because of a U washington connection against Kanter,Jones, cal etc. I really want us to kick everyone’s ass this yr. We should think about the jealousy against uk and be more than motivated which this young team did learn in time this yr-we are everyones trophy. Cal don’t allow this yr to be the ncaa’s trophy against uk.

  19. JATR4
    11:03 pm March 14, 2011 Permalink

    Ron Wellman wouldn’t know a basketball if it hit him in the face. Want proof? He fired Dino Gaudio and hired Jeff Bzdelik who led Wake Forest to their worst record in history. This idiot shouldn’t be on any committee that requires greater than a third grade education!

  20. sUcK
    11:11 pm March 14, 2011 Permalink

    This is embarrassing, uk should have gotten a 4 in that bracket a 3 in a different one at most, uofl should have gotten a 3 in theirs. All the other stuff is irrelevant.

  21. topshelfyaknow
    11:27 pm March 14, 2011 Permalink

    this is funny

  22. happychandlersvocalchords
    11:30 pm March 14, 2011 Permalink

    thats ok, maybe next year we can begin our march to a championship close to home….our old kentucky home!

  23. blitzedanddazed
    11:30 pm March 14, 2011 Permalink

    What do people expect when you have the AD of Ohio State University ( Gene Smith ) as the head of the NCAA Selection Committee?
    Jim Tressel would be facing a Federal indictment if he was any other person. Davis was not even in favor of suspending Tressel. The appearance Davis made on ESPN was an embarrassment to higher education.

  24. kyartist
    11:34 pm March 14, 2011 Permalink

    Great post!

  25. lexslamman
    11:52 pm March 14, 2011 Permalink

    I personally have doubts as to what the motivation of individual section committee members is or whether is relevant at all to the decisions that were made. The committee makes these choices behind closed doors so we may never know for sure.

    I am a little surprised at how genuine some of the outrage is, though – as if people are surprised? What made anyone think that the NCAA likes the University of Kentucky in the first place?


    Why would he be dumb enough to schedule UK in his bracket? On any given night Kentucky could take down Ohio State.

  26. bee-rad
    12:00 am March 15, 2011 Permalink

    Just saw Eric Bledsoe dunk for the top play on ESPN and I’m reminded just how good he was at UK.

  27. Donovan's Weak D
    12:03 am March 15, 2011 Permalink

    Gold, Ms. Thompson.
    Pure. Unadulterated. Gold.

  28. Musehobo
    12:05 am March 15, 2011 Permalink

    funny!!!…sadly true though.

  29. NotChandlerParsons
    12:06 am March 15, 2011 Permalink

    kentucky is so deserving of their seed. they got lucky twice beating us. i may not be able to guard darius miller but i have better hair than him.

  30. bee-rad
    12:49 am March 15, 2011 Permalink

  31. AKA cold buckets
    1:31 am March 15, 2011 Permalink

    Hahah nice post. The funny thing is that what was actually said in the selection room was probably more F’d up than this.

  32. Bledsoe's Biceps
    5:43 am March 15, 2011 Permalink

    Probably closer to reality than we will ever really know. Just too many coincidences in how some match ups or potential ones play out.

  33. bluesince66
    7:26 am March 15, 2011 Permalink

    I would think Smith is catching as much grief from his own people as he is anyone else. Hell, he screwed his own team. If not the toughest bracket, it’s number 2.

  34. s-ville
    8:00 am March 15, 2011 Permalink

    hahahahahaha!!! More-head!!!

  35. Kwildcat
    8:24 am March 15, 2011 Permalink

    more…more…more of this good stuff!!!!!!!

  36. Al's IndiCats
    8:31 am March 15, 2011 Permalink

    LMAO, this is probably more close to what happened than we think. It was written several days ago in the local paper that when they interviewed oSU president from OSU, that when a reporter asked if they were going to fire Tressel, he smiled and said he “HOPES” Tressel doesn’t fire him. That’s how serious they are about FB at the Suckeye State.
    14) Can you imagine their horror last year when they penciled in UNC at Greensboro for the first two games and UNC didn’t even make the field? Along with Puke they had the easiest road to travel so that it would be an all ACC final game.

  37. UKfanNKY
    8:57 am March 15, 2011 Permalink

    They ALL should be FIRED including Tressel of OSU. What a frickin joke!!!!!

  38. Awesome
    9:58 am March 15, 2011 Permalink

    About halfway through this post I thought, “Damn, this is hilarious. This has to be Ms. Tyler Thompson” Sure enough, it was. Another fantastic post.

  39. KYBlonde
    11:13 am March 15, 2011 Permalink

    Sad part is…this is probably the way it did go down!

  40. Viren
    2:31 pm March 15, 2011 Permalink

    Committee of MORONS is more like it. They dropped a huge ball on so many match-ups and seeding.
    If Gators were that solid of a #2 seed then Cats should have at least moved up to a 3 line after beating them fairly easy. I don’t think we are a 2 seed but hey at least an SEC team got a break for once!

  41. Minority Committee Report
    2:54 pm March 15, 2011 Permalink

    It’s Cal’s fault that we got this so messed up. He had those two guys pretend to be injured. (They both deserve Acadamy Awards). When we went to bed on Saturday night,(or was it Sunday morning?), everyone knew that a coach with questionable ability like Cal had the chance of a one legged man at an A$$ Kicking, when taking two freshmen, two Billy Clyde leftovers and two cripples against the Coach of the year! He with two National championship rings, the reigning SEC Player of the year and a healthy regular season champion squad with a full roster.
    When we realized Sunday that Cal had upset the Apple cart, it was too late.Can you imagine the grief we would have taken had we dropped the team with the best road record down to a 4 seed while lifting the team weth the higher RPI,(and all the other computer and human rankings we sometimes use)to a 2 ? We don’t consider last minute Butt Kickings.
    Next year, if you all can resist meddling with “Free Enes” type gimmicks and snide remarks about Cam rumors and Buckeye Tattoos, we might jack that seeding up a little ,if you make the field of 68.