Loosely Connected Thoughts: Does Anyone Want To Make The NCAA Tournament?

Hey, remember me?!

On the NCAA Tournament.

One of the bigger debates from, I don't know, four or five years ago, was whether the NCAA should expand the tournament field. Coaches, obviously, usually push this proposal more than anyone since most have bonuses that are tied to getting their teams to the Big Dance. Some have suggested that the field should increase to 80, others to 96, and some have even proposed that every school gets a chance to play for the national title.

I like it the way it is.

Mainly because of years like this one. I took a look at ESPN's Bracketology yesterday, which had the Indiana Hoosiers as being one of the first four teams out with a record of 13-12. I root for IU, because I like Archie Miller, but the Hoosiers have won two games in 2019, and came into last night's home tilt with Purdue with a record of 13-12.

They lost to the Boilermakers last night, in a game that looked the way a fart smells, and now sit squarely at .500.

Meanwhile, one of Joe Lunardi's last four in, Alabama took an ugly loss to a bad Texas A&M team to fall to 15-11, a half game better than another one of the projected last four in, Florida, which sits at 14-11.

The crap-tastic composition of the bottom of the bracket, and its softer-than-usual bubble will lead to discussions of teams in mid-major conferences getting more bids, and the arguments for schools like Wofford, Lipscomb, and hell, I'll say it, NKU might hold more water this season.

More than anything, though, during a season when it might be hard to find 68 tournament-worthy teams, perhaps the discussions about expanding the field should turn into active debates about how less is actually more.

On the UK Wildcats...

Amid a whole bunch of high-profile games that have littered Kentucky's schedule this season are the midseason slogs like last night's in Columbia against Missouri. John Calipari's team could be excused for going through the motions in tilts that don't have the same juice as games like Saturday's against Tennessee, the road match against Auburn, or the showdown with Kansas. UK didn't exactly keep its foot on the gas for 40 minutes, but it does say something - even if I don't know what - that, for the most part, the Wildcats haven't had any kind of letdown, or looked disinterested when the lights haven't been shining quite so bright.

Also, watching PJ Washington blossom this season has been a quality time.

On Scooter Gennett....

He's not happy with the lack of communication he's getting from the Reds regarding a contract extension. From Cincinnati.com...

“It’s surprising in the sense that you look around and see other guys get extensions,” he said. “That’s kind of the surprising thing. Not that they don’t deserve them. I think they do. 

“But being here two years, busting my butt for the team and seeing other guys get stuff who haven’t been here, it’s like ‘man, OK, sweet.’ You throw your hands up sometimes and go: ‘Really?’ ”

“.....What I don’t like is when you’re told we’re going to have a talk and it doesn’t happen. That’s what I don’t like. I’m a man. Tell me what’s up. Communicate with me. We’re all adults here. That’s something I expressed last year to them. That’s all I can hope for, that we all respect each other. Everyone in this room wants to know where I’ll be next year, where I’ll be next month. Should I buy a house? Should I have my kids go to this school? We’re humans. We have things that we need to do and things that are on our mind. 

“The more that they can let us know or me know what my situation is like, the less I’m going to worry about it and the better I’m going to play and win ballgames.”

A couple of thoughts on this...

1) I believe that if Scooter and his agent really, really wanted a sitdown with the people that run the Reds, he could get one. He might not like what he'd hear, but he'd get one.

2) In life, not everyone is prioritized equally. Same thing holds true where I work, and where you work.

3) The Reds currently have seven players that are playing this season with great uncertainty about where they'll be playing in 2020. Scooter is not alone, and this season is still largely about figuring out who can do what when the team is legitimately ready to contend.

4) It is entirely fair to believe that the 2017 and 2018 versions of Scooter Gennett will not be replicated.

On Vontaze Burfict....

He hasn't been a high-level player in at least two years, he's injury-prone, he can't be counted on, he's volatile, and he was among the worst tacklers at his position. Oh, and cutting him loose can save the Bengals nearly $6 million.

Explain to me then the upside to keeping him around.

On Manny Machado....

The fact that the logical reaction to the Padres giving him $300 million over ten years was almost universally skepticism sure doesn't help the players' cause, now does it?

The shitstorm of stuff I've had to occupy my time since the beginning of 2019 is behind me, and I should finally be back to blogging on more frequent basis, even if I'm still struggling with how this space should be populated. Thanks for bearing with me.

Radio Show: NKU's John Brannen will be on at 5:45. Rick Broering from Musketeer Report will be at 3:45. More fresh defensive coordinator and Yasiel Puig takes in between. Join me at 3:05 on ESPN1530.

Follow me on Twitter:@MoEgger1530.

Email me:mo@espn1530.com

Mo Egger

Mo Egger

Mo Egger delivers his unique take on sports on Cincinnati's ESPN 1530! Read more

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