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ESPN’s Jay Bilas: “The Idea Of 60 Teams Getting A Bye Is Ridiculous”

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Big Ten Basketball Tournament - Ohio State v Michigan State

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The Drive Monday 3-12-12-Jay Bilas talks with the guys about the new format of 68 teams in the tournament, how the tournament has changed in the past few years, and we get in to all the teams from the area and what he sees them doing in the tournament.

Jay Bilas is the leading name when it comes to college basketball and he obviously had a strong opinion on the way Selection Sunday turned out.  He definitely felt there were teams overlooked and over-valued, but felt it was an all-together decent bracket.

“There were some surprises [with the seeding]…Creighton was not seeded properly…Michigan was over seeded…There are a lot of mixed messages that were sent…We are sending a message about non-conference scheduling…how many games did [certain teams] win against quality competition?  [It seems like even if you win all your quality games, who cares?]…Take Marshall…they beat Southern Mississippi twice…they beat IONA by 20 points, [both are tournament teams]…I don’t think the committee did a bad job choosing [but some teams definitely got overlooked]…”

He thinks the 68 teams this year are a great idea because it gives more teams an opportunity to showcase their talents.  Bilas also believes that some of the scheduling is confusing, saying the idea of the “play-in” round is just crazy.

“What they did was increase the field to 68 for television…television wanted this, they wanted to have majors playing mid-majors and all that…now there are these weird monikers…the first four [games] and the final four [teams]…on the air you are trying to use the right terms…and get tripped up by it…I’m never going to get used to calling someone’s first game the second round.  The idea of 60 teams getting a bye is ridiculous.”

Local teams UNC and Duke make the top of Bilas’ list of teams to watch.  Both teams got lucky with bracket draws and he believes will make a big splash in the next few weeks.

“I actually thought that the number one seeds all got things pretty good…Kentucky got the hardest draw of the number one seeds…once you get to the Elite Eight, …whoever you would play in an Elite Eight game can beat you…Duke got a really good draw, really good…if they end up playing Baylor in the Sweet 16, they can beat Baylor…they aren’t a great man to man team…their draw is a great one until the regional finals.

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