Womhoops Guru

Mel Greenberg covered college and professional women’s basketball for the Philadelphia Inquirer, where he worked for 40 plus years. Greenberg pioneered national coverage of the game, including the original Top 25 women's college poll. His knowledge has earned him nicknames such as "The Guru" and "The Godfather," as well as induction into the Women's Basketball Hall of Fame in 2007.

Friday, February 02, 2007

The NCAA Top Seed Drawer Swings Wide Open

By Mel Greenberg

PHILADELPHIA _ Talk about damage.

Georgia Tech's stunning upset of Maryland Thursday night in Atlanta blasted open the looming race for the top seeds in the NCAA field at the expense of the defending national champion Terrapins.

Until the loss, the top slots seemed to be locked up for keeps because of the dynamics of the Atlantic Coast Conference race. Despite Maryland's previous two losses to North Carolina and Duke, coach Brenda Freese's team still seemed poised for a No. 1 seed because the Terrapins would not have lost to anyone else. And the other two ACC powers seemed destined to lose only among the top three.

Tennessee, meanwhile, seems assured of the other No. 1 slot because the Vols' only losses are to North Carolina and Duke.

Now, Maryland almost certainly has to beat Duke in the next matchup and probably get to the ACC postseason title game to regain the high ground. There is also no more margin of error in terms of other losses in the league.

The only thing that would loosen this concept, of course, would be if North Carolina and Duke got shocked by another ACC school.

So, who benefits?

Right now, it seems to be Connecticut, especially if the Huskies run the table, which would also include a non-conference win over LSU.

Forget the RPI, if what the committee says is true, as the end-all. Ohio State has a quality win at Oklahoma, that has devalued slightly, and a win over Purdue. The Huskies, in the Big East, in a basketball argument, not a computer argument, would see more depth of opponents in the Big East than Ohio State has in the Big Ten.

This also adds more meaning to Tuesday night's Connecticut-Rutgers game in Storrs. The Scarlet Knights could help themselves toward a potential three or four seed with an upset. That win would also diminish the case, for now, we just made for UConn.

Right now, the hot stat this year looms as the "Last Ten Games" category, particularly because the so-called bubble for teams just trying to get to the Big Dance is so huge, we may as well start saying "On the Dome" because a bubble is not quite large enough to accomodate this year's at-large berth contenders.

Georgia's upset of LSU was a huge win if the Bulldogs can stay hot in terms of landing anywhere from a No. 2 to No. 3 seed. The loss, however, was not as costly to the Tigers.

Georgia Tech, meanwhile, also can become either a fourth or fifth team out of the ACC into the NCAA field if the Yellow Jackets can establish themselves the rest of the way in either of those slots in the conference standings.

Anyhow, that's the instant impression from here. We'll be at the Temple-Xavier game, Friday night here in town, a key game for both teams as NCAA hopefuls out of the Atlantic Ten. The three-time defending champion Owls are still unbeaten to keep pace in the conference standings with George Washington. Those two will meet in the final game of the regular season just before the Atlantic Ten tournament, which Xavier will host.

Meanwhile, the CAA showdown produced a lopsided win by James Madison over Old Dominion, the perrenial conference winner.

It could be this year that either JMU or Delaware could get an at-large bid out of the CAA but ODU could not.

In a tech breakthrough your Guru just added the last item through his blackberry while waiting for his meal in the diner.

Good nite and good morning!

-- Mel


Anonymous Anonymous said...

Ram Dass is a contemporary spiritual teacher who wrote the 1971 bestseller Be Here Now. He is well-known for his association with Timothy Leary at Harvard University in the early 1960s, both having been dismissed from their professorships for experiments on the effects of psychedelic drugs on human subjects. He is also known for his travels to India and his association with the Hindu guru, Neem Karoli Baba.

6:06 PM  

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