March Madness Fans Upset: Blame Ohio State Administration


Since Ohio State Athletic Director Gene Smith has thrown him self under the bus once this month, the folks here at Scarlet and Game have no problem blaming NCAA Tournament Committee chairman Gene Smith for screwing up the field of 68.

Smith was the leader of nine people who put the final stamp on the NCAA bracket that everyone is filling out this morning. Okay, it’s a fair bet that the pressure of a deadline with some many great teams this season… Just ask Gene.

The last teams in and comparing them and really vetting the qualities of those teams, there was a lot of discussion because there were so many teams to consider. We just had a lot more teams that we were scrubbing from that perspective. Usually, you have two or three teams that you feel bad about leaving out. This year, it was seven or eight.

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In order to get a feel for the Bracket, Let’s take a look at the Selection Committee Roster.

Gene Smith, Committee Chairman, Ohio State Athletic Director– It’s been a rough start to March for the Committee big man but his moves down in the post and in the play-in game have been noted. He is actually the John Wooden of this club. When the other nine don’t play well, he’s supposed to dictate motivate his team into coming up with sound decisions.

Stanley Morrison, California-Riverside Athletic Director – Stanley! Your conference has seen the likes of Pacific make runs in the NCAA tournament. Though Cal Poly, Long Beach State and Cal State Fullerton are baseball schools, we won’t hold that against you. The UC Santa Barbra Gauchos represent your neighborhood.  But you have friends in Pac 12 places…

Jeffery Hathaway, UCONN Athletic Director – You think there was someone arguing for a UCONN number two seed? No. No. No. Big East Bias number one is here and ready for duty sir. 11 total teams got in and a number of them will have to face each other right away. Hathaway is also a friend of the Mountain West as a former Athletic Director at Colorado State, and an avid Maryland Terrapin.

Lynn Hickey, UTSA Athletic Director – Well we see what kind of pull Lynn has. Her OWN team got the worst draw in the whole damn tournament. Assuming they get past Alabama State, they hit the buzz saw that is our Ohio State Buckeyes. Obviously here region gives her some pull for the Big 12. Her recent jobs at Kansas State and Texas might have influenced some of her decision making as well.

Dan Beebe, Big 12 Commissioner – You let Texas fall to a 4 seed and Florida nab that second seed? Is the SEC paying your pockets? OH that’s right you served on the ESPN committee that landed the BCS.

That explains A lot.

I thought it was the Big 12 not the Big 11 (East)

Mike Bobinkski, Xavier Athletic Director – His allegiance is to Midwest Basketball. A graduate of Notre Dame, a former Navy and Akron Athletic Director, and is one of the most objective members on the board.

Doug Fullerton, Big Sky Conference Commissioner – Northern Montana and Eastern Washington seem like basketball regions with pull, but the truth is Fullerton is another name on the selection committee that might not know much about the current season or basketball in general.

Ron Wellman, Wake Forest Athletic Director – Beyond loving his demon deacons, and being entrenched in the ACC since 1992, the former Northwestern baseball player really has no insight on college basketball. Minus the ACC. It’s interesting to note that Wellman has been on the committee since 2009.  So maybe, just maybe, he knows what he’s doing.

Steve Orsini, SMU Athletic Director- Steve is the money man of the group. You know, the guy that gets you the bracket you want for the right price (okay, bad SMU Pun). Oh wait, no he’s pumped a crap load of money into that program used to work for the Dallas Cowboys, and turned down his alma matter to work at SMU? Something ain’t adding up here.

Scott Barnes, Utah State Athletic Director – The same man that missed the boat on getting Utah State into the Mountain West might have played a part in the horrible bracket that was released on Sunday night.  His own team lost three times this season, but pulled out a 12th seed in the tournament?  Hmmmm.

The Mistakes:

I’m not going to cover this too much, but to miss out on a team such as Colorado and Virginia Tech is just atrocious. But to figure a team like Harvard has a better resume than UAB or even Clemson.

Beyond the plain misses that didn’t get into the tournament, how do you miss so badly on some of the seeding? Florida is a number two seed and Texas is a number four? I would argue that Wisconsin, BYU, Purdue, UCONN and Kentucky deserved a better seeding than Florida.

Either way, it’s here. March Madness Baby!