Wednesday, February 3, 2010
The CIT has an awesome selection committee
By Eamonn Brennan
You've probably never heard of many of the members of the NCAA tournament selection committee, and you probably have no idea who sends out the invitations to the NIT. It would follow, then, that you'd have no clue who figures out which teams get to go to the CollegeInsider.com Postseason Tournament, or the CIT -- the tournament for those teams whose seasons preclude them even from a spot in the NIT.
Looking for the newly fired Jerry Wainwright? There he is. What about once-disgraced former Georgia coach Jim Harrick? Yep. Maryland legend Lefty Driesell? Oh yeah. Former Illinois stalwart Lou Henson? You get the idea. We're one "True Blood" star away from this being a celebrity softball game.
Why is this cool? I'm not really sure. Maybe it's just nice to put some faces to names. The NCAA selection committee has done a nice job of increasing transparency in its process in the past few years -- for example, I'll be going to Indy to participate in a mock selection next week, which should be lots of fun -- but it's still the selection committee, and the nature of its composition (a group of athletic directors and conference commissioners) means it will remain largely faceless to the college hoops public. That's how it should be. It's the NCAA tournament. Let's keep it buttoned-down and professional.
Meanwhile, the CIT looked around, said "screw it," and asked a bunch of former coaches if they'd be willing to keep an eye on teams most of us have already completely forgotten about for the sake of sub-NIT tournament no one will watch. I find this immensely interesting, and I'm not really sure why.