Jay Bilas Talks NCAA Tournament & The Status Of The ACC

By Nick Byerly
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(Photo by Rich Barnes/Getty Images)

(Photo by Rich Barnes/Getty Images)

Jay Bilas joins The Drive to talk about the Elite 8 games over the weekend, why the ACC is down this year, and who might replace Coach K at Duke when the all-time winningest coach retires.

Jay Bilas discussed the NCAA Tournament and how good the games have been this year.

“I thought it was good, I cant remember a time were I didn’t think the tournament wasn’t good. There have been times were we’ve had some bad games….we’ve had rock fight after rock fight….We had our standard upsets and had Dayton break through.”

Kentucky is preforming better in the tournament then they did in the regular season.  Even though they are a class of freshman starters, some things didn’t go the coaches way during the regular season.

“The coaching staff tried to do thing their way and have the team adapt to it and they didn’t….they have gone with more quick hitting sets….things that are pretty simple. They are playing to their strengths”

Michigan did well on making Kentucky take some hard shots and giving the Wildcasts “pressure on the shot.”

UCONN has done a great job with the cast they have, but the guards are under sized for the next level.

“I think Napier is a pro…they are tiny little guards and I don’t know that the NBA is clamoring to have them.”

The talk around the Final Four and the ACC not having a participant just means the level of the teams are down.

“The strength of the league is not as good as it’s been…while I expected Duke to be pretty good…they weren’t as good as I thought and that was pretty clear mid way through the season….losing to Mercer…was not a good loss.”

Bilas does feel that this year’s tournament had it’s issues with seeding problems.

“You can’t count them all and it screwed up the tournament….Wichita State playing  Kentucky that was an Elite 8 game….it was embarrassing.”

With the expansion of the ACC Conference and new teams coming in, the team that may be next could be UCONN.

“I thought that for a while, if the ACC wants to expand its position up in the New York Metro-plex that’s a natural….the belief they are going to be there in three or four years…that’s a possibility in the future.”

The ACC not being in the Final Four is ok for now, and the health of the league is in good shape.

“We are going to get to the point in the next couple years were it’s kind of like the old Big East was, were you can get 8,9, or 10 teams in.”

The concern for the teams in the middle or bottom you may stay there if you don’t fight your way out quickly. You have a lot of coaches that are aging out in the ACC.

Like the replacement of Jim Calhoun in UCONN the day is going to come where Jim Boeheim, Coach K and Roy Williams are going to be replaced. The team is going to have to make the right decision. For Duke what is going to happen there?

“I really don’t know, I think if you would have asked me five years ago…I would have had no idea. It’s really a good question of all these coaches….It’s not easy.”

These programs bring in a lot of money and they have to be on top of all the issues. If the sports program isn’t healthy then neither is your academic program.

The ACC will be going to The Barclays Center in 2017-18, but the ACC should want to get to MSG.

“If we want to be great…. we have to be there and be there all the time…ACC fans once they see it and experience it they will love it.” You put these teams in New York it would be a hotter ticket then the Final Four.

Listen to the entire interview above.


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