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Tuesday, November 20, 2012
3-point shot: NCAA bracket principles

By Andy Katz

1. Expect the NCAA tournament selection committee to change its bracketing principles for the first two rounds that protects teams in the same conference. Xavier athletic director Mike Bobinski, who is the 2013 chair, said that the latest round of conference alignment is yet another indicator that the rules will have to change. Bobinski said this has already been discussed. The ACC could have 15 schools in two years while the Big Ten is expected to match the SEC with 14 members. Keeping those schools separate would almost be impossible. Bobinski said there will likely be instances where two teams from the same conference may not have played each other more than once so another time in the NCAA tournament wouldn't matter.

2. Hofstra coach Mo Cassara and athletic director Jeff Hathaway were trying to get out of playing in the 2K Sports Classic over the summer even though the Pride were hosting three games (UDC, Marshall and South Dakota State). Hofstra viewed the games as too tough and the Pride weren't pleased about opening at Purdue instead of playing at Villanova. Hofstra lost the first two games before winning all three home games, including a double-overtime victory over Marshall. "It pissed us off but we sai, 'Let's go win them,'" said Cassara. "Now we have two great wins for our conference." Cassara said he discovered he may have the player of the year in the CAA in freshman Jimmy Hall. Cassara was also piling on the praise on South Dakota State's Nate Wolters. "I would pay to watch him play,'' said Cassara. "He's a pro. He's a first-round pick.''

3. New Mexico almost never left the Pit for significant nonconference games in the '90s. The Lobos under Steve Alford are willing to go on the road quite a bit. Taking the Paradise Jam is yet another example. The win over UConn Monday night will have quite a bit of shelf life for the Lobos and give UNM plenty of confidence going on a road trip to Saint Louis and Cincinnati.