Rutgers among bubble teams that will anxiously await fate on Selection Sunday


It was a lot simpler than this. Once upon a time, on the evening NCAA Tournament bids had been introduced, Lou Carnesecca determined to exit to dinner. This was 1979, the final 12 months previous to the arrival of the Big East. St. John’s had misplaced to Iona within the finals of the ECAC qualifier the evening earlier than. They had been 18-10.

There was no NET then, to place a crew’s NCAA rank in metric phrases, no RPI, no KenPom, no Sagarin. There had been no bracketologists — it was just a few years earlier when brackets appeared in any respect along side the NCAA. There was solely Carnesecca judging his intestine instincts and his personal sense of chance, together with the actual fact that simply 40 teams made the match.

So he went to dinner.

“Nothing I could do about it,” he defined years later. “And you have to eat.”

The name got here to his home, and his daughter relayed the message. Carnesecca was already occupied with the NIT. He didn’t need to. The Johnnies bought a sport the subsequent Friday, at N.C. State’s Reynolds Coliseum, towards Temple. They gained that. They shocked Duke the subsequent day, then edged Rutgers the subsequent week at Greensboro Coliseum.

The journey resulted in a bitter two-point loss to Pennsylvania a step away from the Final Four that formally launched the world to Larry Bird and Magic Johnson, nevertheless it was a tremendous journey, one that began with no watch events, no fanfare, and with a coach having fun with some antipasto nicely off campus grounds. It was most likely higher that approach.

Ron Harper Jr., left, is guarded by Connor McCaffery Iowa in the course of the semifinals of the Big Ten Tournament.
Trevor Ruszkowski

Sunday, at varied locales across the nation, it will be a lot totally different. Some teams have little angst hooked up to the method — they know they’re in (or out). Some teams have automated bids sewn up. Some teams are questioning in the event that they’ll have to begin their journey in Dayton, Ohio, website of the “First Four” Tuesday and Wednesday.

And some will expertise the worst form of torture.

The type while you gained’t know till you recognize.

Around right here, essentially the most anxious place will be at Rutgers. Rutgers ought to be an NCAA crew. They completed fourth within the Big Ten. They had that nearly surreal stretch in February once they beat 4 ranked teams in a row. They scuffled a bit in November and December, misplaced some video games they shouldn’t have misplaced. But they’re 18-13, and so they have confirmed able to taking part in with — and beating — the perfect teams within the nation.

It ought to be a matter of seeding at Rutgers.

A matter of: Dayton or no Dayton.

But the cruel fact is, you by no means actually know. Not till you see your identify on the TV display screen. And generally even then it may be an emotional cauldron. A number of years in the past I used to be fortunate sufficient to spend Selection Sunday with the basketball crew at my alma mater, St. Bonaventure. Like Rutgers, they need to have been superb.

But that they had been badly snubbed two years earlier, so that alone was sufficient to plant seeds of fear. (I’d been at Iona masking a watch social gathering that day. When the brackets appeared with out the Bonnies, Tim Cluess came to visit, shook my hand, and mentioned, “You just got hosed,” although he used a distinct phrase than “hosed.”)

This was the 12 months CBS determined to disclose the sector alphabetically. Inside the room, we waited for “S.” And when Seton Hall appeared, there was momentary panic: Were they going with “Saint Bonaventure” or “St. Bonaventure?” It made all of the distinction on the earth. And then “St. Bonaventure” appeared on the display screen. And the enjoyment was in contrast to any I’d ever seen up shut earlier than.

Rutgers deserves that second Sunday. But there will be teams, and campuses, thrown into immediate melancholy when the brackets are revealed. There will be little comfort for these deemed to be the “first four out,” and fewer for the “next four out.” It will be an extended, lengthy day on these campuses. Agony.

Maybe they need to simply exit to dinner. You need to eat.

Vac’s Whacks

Which crew goes to higher persuade you that it’s not but too late to make a run, the Knicks or the Islanders?

The Long Island Catholic hoops league misplaced a great one Super Bowl Sunday when Steve Siegler, who performed on a very nice St. Anthony’s crew in 1979, handed away all of a sudden. Those of us who grew up on the NSCHAA in these days bear in mind these teams fondly, even when we went off to rival faculties later on.

Jeff Nelson
Paul J. Bereswill

Despite a date change brought on by COVID, the Thurman Munson Awards final Monday raised $600,000 for AHRC NYC aiding individuals with mental and developmental disabilities, upping the 42-year complete to $19 million. World Series champs Jeff Nelson and Mookie Wilson had been the baseball honorees.

Thank you Kyle Lofton, Osun Osunniyi, Jalen Adaway, Dominick Welch and Jaren Holmes; if you recognize, you recognize. (Go Bonnies) (#unfurl)

Whack Back at Vac

Charles Cook: It was refreshing, particularly throughout this Lenten season, to learn the quotes from Syracuse-Florida State from Buddy Boeheim (contrition), Wyatt Wilkes (forgiveness), and most of all Leonard Hamilton (knowledge and empathy). Good examples for all of us.

Vac: Does that make Coach Boeheim Judas in all of this?

Mike Anderson
Mike Anderson
Corey Sipkin

Dennis Daly: Here we go, Mike. Seven betting websites, 4 dwell playing exhibits every day. First professional participant, Calvin Ridley, suspended one 12 months for betting. Can’t look forward to the primary participant or official to get caught fixing a sport.

Vac: The slippery slope is slippery and slope-y for a great purpose.

@Bkjbearcat1: At Arkansas, Mike Anderson bought the nickname “Mediocre Mike.” I don’t assume he improved after getting fired from his dream job.

@MikeVacc: I would like to have the ability to debate this level, however …

Evan Charles: I consider the roots of the hostility between gamers and house owners truly dates again to 1889 when the Players League was shaped as a result of the gamers objected to the reserve clause that the NL and American Association imposed. The breakaway Players League lasted for one 12 months (1890).

Vac: Now that’s a hell of an extended grudge.

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