Jay Bilas Talks Upsets, NC State Advancing, And UNC/Providence
College basketball analyst from ESPN, Jay Bilas, joins Mac and Jim to discuss the brackets upsets, the selection committee’s seeding, 60 teams getting a bye, UNC’s lackluster showing in the ACC tourney, mocking Jim and the notion of parody.
On NC State beating St. Louis: When I saw the bracket, I moved them through to win that game. When you’ve got a player as good as T.J. Warren, they should be able to beat St. Louis. I think they’re a better team.
On some upset predictions: The major upsets I had in my bracket were North Dakota State beating Oklahoma and Harvard beating Cincinnati. I had a couple here and there, but nothing major. I don’t see the depth of the field as being as good as it has been in the past. Part of the way you can see that is nobody raised an eyebrow about anybody getting left out, except maybe SMU, and that was mild.
On UNC’s draw: They’re playing a decent team, in Providence, that has played very well lately. Providence has a really good guard, Bryce Cotton. They’re capable, but Providence isn’t great defensively. I thought UNC played hard against Duke, but they didn’t rebound as well as I expected. Kennedy Meeks was sick, James Michael McAdoo gets in foul trouble and he’s got to avoid that. He’s gotten some fouls which haven’t been the most intelligent use of his fouls. I was really surprised at how poorly they played against Pittsburgh. They weren’t ready for a fight.
On the midwest bracket: That’s a really tough bracket. Not to make excuses for any team in that bracket, but this whole seeding thing was really screwed up. I hope it doesn’t have a negative effect on the tournament.
On Duke: Knowing Coach K the way I do, he said, ‘Hey, this is our path. What are we gonna do? We gotta play. Let’s go play.’ He’ll make it into a positive and they’ll be fine. It’s tough, but they were going to play tough teams no matter what and you never know when someone might lose before they get to you. Some of these brackets that look really tough, might ease up.
On the seeding being bad: It’s especially bad. They’ve done a bad job in different instances every year, or they’ve made mistakes every year, I should say. They didn’t just make mistakes this year, they did a bad job. This was a horribly seeded tournament. It happens too often and something has to be done about the way the committee does its work. They need strict evaluation criteria and they need more basketball people on the committee, because these mistakes are constant and we’ve got a multi-billion dollar property here and people that are putting a lot into this and I think they deserve better.