(Image source: Washington Post)
BY NATHAN BYRNE
Who’s in? Who’s out? Now we know. The crew on CNN’s “Starting Point” marches on from college basketball’s Selection Sunday.
“And it’s time to not work today. Fill out your brackets and then tear them up on Thursday night. It’s March Madness. That’s right, the NCAA Tournament has been set.”
Kentucky, North Carolina, Syracuse and Michigan State didn’t surprise many analysts as number-one seeds. But the decision on who would fall next in line spurred debate about how scheduling early impacts seeding later. A contributor for SB Nation wrote this about one of the tournament’s two-seeds …
“I never really considered Missouri seriously, even though the team certainly plays like a top seed, because its profile just didn't match up well with the Selection Committee's typical opinions on scheduling. Perhaps in the future, teams in the Tigers' position -- and really any team that wants to qualify for the Tournament -- will finally take the Committee's opinions to heart.”
No major surprises snuck into this year’s bracket. But that didn’t stop Charles Barkley from debating selection committee chairman Jeff Hathaway on CBS. Enjoy the awkward silence.
CHARLES BARKLEY: “Well, Colorado State was 0-9 — 0-for-nine — on the road against the top 100 teams.”
JEFF HATHAWAY: “But they had three wins on the road against the top 50 teams.”
The location conversation comes into play, too. Mike DeCourcy of The Sporting News commends the committee for valuing match-ups over geography.
“They placed all the teams where they should be, with the weakest number two — Duke playing the strongest number one — Kentucky. That was very good. I was very impressed that they did that, even though it meant having to move.”
And it wouldn’t be March Madness without upsets. Sports Illustrated’s Seth Davis points to a mid-major team that returns nine of its 11 top players from last year.
“Belmont is my one team on this bracket that I kind of took a chance on to go to a Sweet Sixteen — upsetting Georgetown and then potentially San Diego State. Remember, last year, Belmont played Wisconsin very tough …”
ESPN’s Dick Vitale predicts the tournament’s top seeds will hold their value and go the distance.
“I think this tough group — tougher than it’s been in the past — I think the tough teams on top will be tough to beat.”
The tournament tips off Tuesday night.
With the college football season almost done, there isn't even time for a lunch break at BCS Headquarters. Unfortunately, some employees still haven't gotten their act together. *******www.globalsportsfraternity****/home/college/2009/12/02/bcs-headquarters-lunch-break/
It's been a long season for the BCS Chimps, but finally the day that everyone has been waiting for is here: Selection Sunday. *******bit.ly/4EzUa1
Just in time for March Madness, the voice of college basketball, legendary broadcaster Dick Vitale offers his take on the NCAA Men’s Basketball tournament!
More About NCAA March Madness 08
EA SPORTS will offer a downloadable 65-team NCAA Tournament bracket via Xbox Live Marketplace and PlayStation®Network, allowing online users to update their NCAA March Madness 08 videogame with accurate “Selection Sunday” brackets and seeding. Fans will be able to authentically simulate the entire 65-team bracket and play through the “virtual bracket” with their favorite team under the same conditions they’ll face in the weeks ahead. Featuring over 70 classic teams that make dream matchups a reality, and commentary from Dick Vitale, Brad Nessler, and sideline reporter Erin Andrews, NCAA March Madness 08 is available on Xbox 360, PlayStation 3, and PS2.
For more information viewers can visit *******www.marchmadness08****
BY ERIK SHUTE AND HARUMENDHAH HELMY
You're watching multisource breaking news analysis from Newsy
This is Newsy Now and here are the headlines you need to know.
After blasts on Friday and early Monday, fears of a third explosion at Japan’s Fukushima nuclear plant are surfacing. 180,000 people have been evacuated. RT reports.
“Again, we are hearing the third reactor has lost its cooling capacity, increasing fears that it will overheat and cause another blast. Meanwhile, engineers have been using seawater to try to cool down reactors at the complex, which were damaged in the quake to avert a catastrophic nuclear meltdown.”
As rescue efforts continue, Japanese officials say the death toll of the earthquake and tsunami may could exceed 10,000 people.
Libyan rebels lost control of crucial oil town of Brega over the weekend. As forces loyal to Muammar Gaddafi continue to make progress, euronews explains the pressure the rebels face.
“The regime appears to be getting closer to the opposition stronghold of Benghazi. The city of Ajdabiya lies on its path. And on Sunday, rebels there were bracing themselves for an attack. Gaddafi has vowed, has he put it, to liberate all of Libya. On state television he said he was certain of victory and that he would bury the rebels.”
Also in the Middle East — Bahrain protesters are calling for help from other Arab states, as they face increased violence from law enforcements. Al Jazeera shares this video.
“Shocking evidence of the lack of control Bahrain authorities have over the security services. A policeman uses a handgun to reportedly fire live rounds indiscriminately toward protesters. He then retreats to his vehicle.”
One thousand troops from Saudi Arabia arrived in Bahrain early today as part of the Gulf Cooperation Council forces, aiming to gain control and maintain stability in the country.
In U.S. news -- State Department spokesman P.J. Crowley resigned yesterday over controversial comments he made about the Pentagon’s treatment of Army private Bradley Manning, who is suspected of leaking information to WikiLeaks.
CNN reports Crowley called Manning’s placement into solitary confinement "ridiculous, counterproductive and stupid.” At a press conference on Sunday, Crowley said he regrets going public with his statements, but he fears the mistreatment of Manning could undermine the prosecution and hurt President Obama’s worldwide reputation. The former Clinton aide had served the U.S. in and out of uniform for more than 30 years.
In sports -- selection Sunday ranked Duke, Kansas, Pittsburgh, and Ohio State as number one seeds for this’s NCAA Basketball Tournament. CBS Sports says it was the Big East conference who really came out on top sending 11 teams to the big dance. CBS Sports reporters talked with tournament chair Jeff Hathaway.
Reporter: “Mr. Hathaway I want to know, you’re very familiar with how successful the Big East has been this year -- 11 teams in the tournament. How hard was it to put them into the brackets when you want to avoid some of those second round matchups that could occur.
HATHAWAY: “Well certainly it is a challenge to have 11 teams from one conference come into the bracket, but you may know after the ninth team the bracketing policies are relaxed and give us the flexibility to accommodate the bracket.”
Stay with Newsy**** for more analysis on news throughout the day. For Newsy Now, I’m Jim Flink -- highlighting the top headlines making you smarter, faster.
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Transcript by Newsy
BY JOE DEUTSCHMANN
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March Madness has always been unpredictable, but this year’s selection snubs have made some people madder than ever.
GREG GUMBEL: “Every year this time of year there’s all kinds of hemming and hawing and deservedly so, but perhaps this year there’s going to be a little bit more. Sure, there were some predictable things that happened in the selection process, but there were some things that truly shocked you guys.” CBS Sports
Colorado Buffaloes coach Tad Boyle said he never thought his team would top the snubbed list after his players went 20-13 overall and 8-8 in a competitive Big 12 Conference.
BOYLE: “Shocking and disappointing that we didn’t get in the tournament. I feel bad for our five seniors, the fact that they’ll never have an opportunity to play in this tournament again.”
Other snub teams include Virginia Tech, St. Mary’s, Alabama and Boston College. Va-Tech coach Seth Greenberg said he believes his team got snubbed because the selection committee has a hidden agenda that favors teams from less popular conferences. But a Syracuse blogger says Virginia Tech got snubbed because of its performances against other rejected teams.
“The Hokies certainly had chances to take away any doubt on Selection Sunday, such as winning either of their final two conference games against fellow bubble contenders, Boston College and Clemson. They dropped both of those contests.”
Others are perturbed with the association’s decision to include teams like Virginia Commonwealth and University of Alabama-Birmingham. Analyst Dick Vitale said he was shocked to hear these teams made it into the tournament.
VITALE: “My wife knows diddly about basketball, but if you put her here and said look at Colorado’s résumé, look at UAB, and look at VCU, it’d be an M&Mer, a mismatch, man. It’d be like a beauty contest—Roseanne Barr walking in versus Scarlett Johansson—no shot, none whatsoever.”
Paul Woody, of the Richmond Times-Dispatch in Virginia, said the NCAA was right to give VCU and other mid-majors a chance.
“For once, the selection committee did the right thing and took a deserving third team from the CAA instead of a fifth team from the ACC. If VCU's inclusion kept Virginia Tech out of the NCAA field, that is unfortunate. It is not, however, unfair.”
The NCAA tournament features 68 teams this year—four more than last year.