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 Post subject: Going Undefeated?
PostPosted: Wed Feb 02, 2005 4:37 pm 
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Illinois is 22-0, BC 19-0. Great starts for both teams, but what are the chances that either will run the table in the regular season, conference and NCAA tournaments? As an Illini and Eagles fan, I am hopeful that one of them makes it all the way undefeated.

The Illini would have to go 39-0 to go undefeated, a daunting task. Perhaps having a loss before March might be a good thing. What does everyone else think?


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 Post subject: Going Undefeated?
PostPosted: Wed Feb 02, 2005 5:10 pm 
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There is no chance that BC will go undefeated. None. And I'm a BC fan. What they have done is commendable & it bodes well for the rest of the season. But they have not played significantly above the level of their competition. Many close wins, character wins. Again, they deserve credit for this & it bodes well for them. However, they are going to come up against teams that are just better than they are, more talented. And such games won't be clsoe enough for their character to make a difference.

Bc is a veteran team, poised & very fundamentally sound with an excelellent interior game. They pass the ball well & don't commit foolish turnovers. They are very, very well coached. But they aren't going to light you up from 3 & they don't run exceptionally well. Their experience has given them a big edge over young teams in the first half of the season. As younger but more talented teams gain experience, the gap will narrow. BC will not beat themselves, but they will get beat.

I haven's seen as much of Illinois this year, but they looked very, very impressive at Michigan State last night. I thought that Michigan State was playing well, but they jsut couldn't keep up with the Illini. It seems that nobody goes undefeated any more. I thought St. Joe's looked great last year, but fate finally caught up with them in the Elite Eight. Talent is so evely spread around that eventually things fall the other way in one of those close games as happened to St. Joe's.

If either of these 2 teams could run the table, my money would be on Illinois. They've gone into some tough places & won already this year.


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 Post subject: Going Undefeated?
PostPosted: Thu Feb 03, 2005 1:18 pm 
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FriarFan, Thanks for your response!

I had heard or read that since Indiana ran the table in 1976:
• Six of the 13 teams that were undefeated in the regular season, entered the NCAA tournament undefeated
• None of the six teams that entered the NCAA tournament undefeated, finished the season undefeated

Following is some additional information from the NCAA Basketball records book: http://www.ncaa.org/library/records/m_basketball_records_book/2005/2005_m_basketball_records.pdf


Quote:
CONSECUTIVE VICTORIES IN A SEASON
34—UNLV, 1991 (34-1)

UNBEATEN TEAMS (SINCE 1938; NUMBER OF
VICTORIES IN PARENTHESIS)
1939 Long Island (24)†
1940 Seton Hall (19)††
1944 Army (15)††
1954 Kentucky (25)††
1956 San Francisco (29)*
1957 North Carolina (32)*
1964 UCLA (30)*
1967 UCLA (30)*
1972 UCLA (30)*
1973 UCLA (30)*
1973 North Carolina St. (27)††
1976 Indiana (32)*
*NCAA champion; †NIT champion; ††not in either tournament

UNBEATEN IN REGULAR SEASON BUT LOST IN
NCAA (*) OR NIT (†)
1939 Loyola (Ill.) (20; 21-1)†
1941 Seton Hall (19; 20-2)†
1951 Columbia (21; 21-1)*
1961 Ohio St. (24; 27-1)*
1968 Houston (28; 31-2)*
1968 St. Bonaventure (22; 23-2)*
1971 Marquette (26; 28-1)*
1971 Pennsylvania (26; 28-1)*
1975 Indiana (29; 31-1)*
1976 Rutgers (28; 31-2)*
1979 Indiana St. (27; 33-1)*
1979 Alcorn St. (25; 28-1)†
1991 UNLV (30; 34-1)*


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 Post subject: Going Undefeated?
PostPosted: Thu Feb 03, 2005 2:26 pm 
Wow. An Illini and Eagles fan! You must be in heaven!

I'lll have to agree with Friar here. BC is stout, but IMO not enough to run what remains a tough table for them. Comparably, Illinois is solid all over and have already zipped past their toughest contests. Granted, there remains the chance for that inexplicible mental lapse wherein someone like Iowa might walk all over the Illini, but it seems unlikely.

As for the benefits of having lost before, the answers vary. Being undefeated going into the NCAA's doesn't equate to you being the favorite (see St. Joe's last year). There's also something to be said for how you've performed in reaching that point: Clawing out of miracle after miracle until your clock strikes midnight? Or did you play like men against boys in which case the tournament is viewed simply as the next step.

As a Braves fan I can tell you that there's a clear difference between aligning your team and your mindset for the regular season and a different set for the post season. The trick is having the coach to find both within his players.


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 Post subject: Going Undefeated?
PostPosted: Thu Feb 03, 2005 9:06 pm 
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Cybercat, it's interesting how that list has only one team in the past 25 years. Partly that's because of parody. Partly it's because teams know each other so well, i.e. there are more games than their were pre-1980, so schools just get aroun more & play more OOC games & more games outside their region in general - AND the top teams see each other play on TV, so they know each other that way.

But, the the big factor IMO is conference tournaments. We all watched for years as the ACC champion was bounced in their own tournament & couldn't go to the NCAAs. They were the only ones with such a tournament. Nowadays, everyone has one. Well, excuse me, Ivy League, ALMOST everyone. Four games in four days is Russian Roulette. Add to that the fact that conference tournaments are irrelevant to the top teams - except for pride. The middle teams & below have a lot of incentive to play well because that may be the only way to get their ticket punched for the tournament. Even with all of the incentive to get in the tournament in the old days, the ACC champ was still facing Russian Roulette & got knocked off with a fair degree of regularity in the conference tournament & had to settle for the NIt - or maybe nothing. Remember Maryland?

People ask how can a team not get up for these games. They are up. They're just not UP. I don't care what a player tells himself in his head, it's just not the same in the gut after you've already proven that you're the best team in the league via round robin play And you know that you're going to the Big Dance regardless. There's no sense of desperation regardless of what you tell yourself. And then there's always some sort of home court advantage in the tournament - much more intense even than regular season. Just check the record of non-Carolina teams in the ACC tournament. In last year's Atlantic Ten tournament, there's no way that St. JOe's could have had the same level of intensity as Xavier. St. Joe's motivation was all negative, i.e. not to screw uyp & blow their #1 ranking. When 2 very good teams come to play intensity & desire can be the difference maker.

NC State went undefeated in '73 partly because they were ineligible for the ACC tournament if I recall. I believe that UNLV was an independent in '91 & didn't play in a conference tournament either. or were they just in a weak conference. I can't remember if the Missouri Valley had a conference tournament in '79 when Indiana State went undefeated, but even if they did, Bird made it a mismatch & really put them in a league of their own. Rutgers had to play in an ECAC qualifying tournament, but since they were an independent during the regular season, these games had much more meaning - AND they only had to win 2 games in a 4 team tournament. No Russian Roulette there.

so, even if Illinois or BC can run the regular season table, dealing with the conference tournament will be another matter. There will be tremendous pressure on them NOY TO LOSE - just like St. Joe's last year. Not a mental state you want to be in.

Hey, Gunner, how about those Braves? Except for '95, this has to be the greatest regular season dynasty of all time - & the biggest post-season flops. Pitching is supposed to be what wins championships - & if there's one thing the Braves had in Spades in the '90s, it was pitching. Talk about frustrating. Grrr >:(

Cheers . . .


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 Post subject: Going Undefeated?
PostPosted: Fri Feb 04, 2005 11:16 am 
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Quote:
Partly that's because of parody.

Parody, eh?! :D Sometimes its the inadvertant errors that cause the best joys!

Re: The Braves. Ugh. I don't fault the pitching, per se, as the approach used in manufacturing the teams. The Braves were built to clean up against weaker teams throughout the regular season, but lacked the offense to win a short series against a team with near equal pitching. It didn't help that seemingly every year one of those ace pitchers would become human against a playoff calibre line-up. Even Maddux has looked downright awful in the playoffs. Sometimes it was managerial error, particularly in player assignments, and sometimes it was simply we weren't THAT good.

I'm wise enough to feel thankful for the success we have had. We just wish the management would feel compelled to push the teams over the top a la Steinbrenner. Lack of a budget is one thing, but time was the Braves had the $ but simply lacked the cahones to make additional moves. THATS what really frustrated us. I just hope the Yankees lose their division before surpassing this streak, just to allow the Braves one other honor in history and because the Yanks are playing with a stacked deck.

::)


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 Post subject: Going Undefeated?
PostPosted: Fri Feb 04, 2005 4:20 pm 
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Quote:
Wow. An Illini and Eagles fan! You must be in heaven!
Gunner, Thanks for your post! I'm not really in heaven, it's just a bright spot in my life right now. As an aside, I am a Braves fan too. ;)

As you know from last year, regardless of how good your season is, if you don't win the last game it is bittersweet.


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 Post subject: Going Undefeated?
PostPosted: Fri Feb 04, 2005 4:33 pm 
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Quote:
Partly that's because of parody.
IMO, the parity comes from many of the big men leaving early or skipping college entirely. Illinois is doing it with a mature, three guard line-up. Will any of them go very high in the draft? I doubt it.


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 Post subject: Going Undefeated?
PostPosted: Tue Feb 08, 2005 4:15 pm 
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Quote:

Parody, eh?! :D Sometimes its the inadvertant errors that cause the best joys!

the Yanks are playing with a stacked deck. ::)


Nice job, Gunner. You got me on that prody slip. :-[

I get a kick out of the criticism that they Yankees are playing with a stacked deck. They are in a bigger city with more resources & they are willing to spend their profits when other big market teams simply pocket their profits - or in some cases mismange their team & don't even realize the profits that their large markets offer the potential to achieve.

Many of the same critics have no problem, on the other hand, turning to college football & feeling that it is the God-given right of the bigger schools with more resources to exclude smaller schools who can't compete with them when it's not an even playing field. Maybe the same attitude should prevail in major league baseball as in college football. Eliminate the small market teams who can't compete.


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 Post subject: Going Undefeated?
PostPosted: Tue Feb 08, 2005 4:22 pm 
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Quote:
IMO, the parity comes from many of the big men leaving early or skipping college entirely. Illinois is doing it with a mature, three guard line-up. Will any of them go very high in the draft? I doubt it.


You hit the nail on the head as far as the current situation is concerned, Cybercat. Of course, that doesn't explain the '80s & '90s when players like Patrick Ewing, Sam Bowie, & Hakeem Olajuwon were all four year players in the '80s and others like Alonzo Mourning, christian Laettner, & d**embe Mutombo were 4 year players in the '90s.

You're certainly right about the trend. By the early '90s, a guy like Shaq was leaving LSU after just 2 years and today Amare Stoudamire goes to the NBA right out of high school.

BTW, BIG test for BC tonight AT Notre Dame. I don't think that Illinois will have much trouble with Michigan.


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 Post subject: Going Undefeated?
PostPosted: Wed Feb 09, 2005 12:22 am 
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It was really the 90s when players started leaving after 1 or 2 years. And a lot of players started leaving after 3.

Rick Pitino had those great Kentucky teams in the 90s, but said he was going to change the way he recruited (just before he headed to the pros) because he was losing players too quick. It makes it hard to keep a team together.


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 Post subject: Going Undefeated?
PostPosted: Wed Feb 09, 2005 3:43 am 
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And then there was one . . .

BC loses to Notre Dame by 3.

Illinois survives at Michigan by 6.


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 Post subject: Going Undefeated?
PostPosted: Wed Feb 09, 2005 1:41 pm 
Friar,

Touche on the irony of perceptions of the Yankees and of major college teams.

I don't begrudge the Yanks for what they're doing; It's allowed by MLB and frankly I admire Steinbrenner for his committment to winning. Seemingly 90% of owners can't say the same, IMO. What I dislike is the model employed as compared to say, the NFL. Within a pro league the notion is, or more correctly should be, that every team begins with equal footing with ultimately the decisions of the managers and the actions of the players to decide who's better. The Yankees ability to bring so much revenue to the table skews the distribution of resources, IMO, and thus alters the general trend in outcomes.

The case in college ball is different, obviously, given the different sources and types of revenue, the different types and scales of institutions... Most notably the fact that each school and conference exists as it's own organization while voluntarily participating within an NCAA structure. MLB and pro leagues, on the other hand, operate as single organizations with individual franchises, much more of a top down model. That organizational structure is what's responsible, I feel for the differences we're talking about between pro and college sports programs. I don't think people (or schools, etc) in general are trying to eliminate the smaller or weaker programs, but there is less stability involved and the individual programs are constantly trying to align themselves to counter that fact.

BTW, your discussion on the other thread concerning the BE, perception and the involvement of flagships was very good. Another case for UMass and Temple, eh?


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 Post subject: Going Undefeated?
PostPosted: Wed Feb 09, 2005 6:24 pm 
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Yes, Gunner, I have come around to thinking of Temple as a viable candidate for a new Big East after reading Bullet's analysis of the situation. Even if Temple continues to be terrible for football, at least they play I-A football & can be an all-sports partner. Villanova has said that it has no intention of upgrading to I-A. Ergo, Temple is it for the Philly market & the Big East would be very, very foolish to abandon the Philly market - even if they only would have it for basketball.

Re my comments about college football above - partly tongue-in-cheek - I am reacting to defenders of the idea that the BCS schools should keep the bowls to themselves because they earn the money. And the idea that something other than a team's competitiveness should be a factor in a team's participation in a bowl or - God forbid. - a play-off. The idea that a team "travels well" & therefore should be chosen over a team that has better credentials. That's tantamount to saying the rich should get richer. Well, those same folks look just a little bit hypocritical if they turn around & criticize the Yankees.

Yes, there are differences & baseball does operate as a single entity vs the way college operates. However, wishing for a salary cap in baseball is a little like wishing for a play-off system in college football. Wishing won't make it so. The reality is that when it comes to revenues, major league teams don't operate as a single entity - & just like college football, tradition is part of the reason for this.

Listening to the smaller markets whine after begging for a place at the table is a little like listening to the non-BCS schools whine for a place at the table & then not have the resources to compete. I did an analysis of baseball markets a few years ago - which I won't bother to post here - & just suffice it to say that some of the teams that label themselves "small markets" are not so small & others like Atlanta are small, but due to creative marketing efforts (TBS) have managed to expand their potential.

Majorr league baseball doesn't have a national TV contract & never will. Given the scheduling differences between it & the NFL, there is no way to have anything comparable. The problem in baseball is twofold, it seems to me.

1. There are franchises in major league baseball that are not in major league cities. There is just not enough of a population base in some of these places to compete. Remember, baseball is a sport in which people go to the game after work & then go home & have to get up for work the next morning. So, a baseball team is pretty much limited to the population in its immediate metro area. In contrast, people will drive 3-4 hours to a Sunday afternoon football game, tailgate, go to the game, & still have plenty of time to get home that night. Because of this, a small city like Green Bay can survive in the NFL & sell out every game. If they didn't they would be blacked out & then pressured by the league to move.

2. The other side of this coin is that major league baseball has a territorial rule that gives teams exclusive rights to a 75 mile geographic radius around their city. The Yankees had to waive this back in 1962 in order for the Met franchise to be established. It seems to me that the quickest way to break up the Yankees is to introduce competition into their marketplace. Get rid of the territorial rule. Metro New York is a megalopolis unlike anything else in this country - almost 25 million people. There are enough people in this region to easily support 5 major league baseball franchises - not just two.

If major league baseball moved their franchises to where the people are, revenue would not be a problem - except for those cases of mismanagement. The Yankees have no revenue advantage over the Mets - same market. The Mets owned New York in the early '70s & again in the mid '80s. In each case, they blew it. They don't have the resources the Yankees do because they refused to invest in their product, made poor business decisions when they did, & failed to develop new revenue streams. The Yankees did just the opposite. Major League Baseball didn't develop the Yankees revenue streams, the Yankees did. Nothing was handed to them. They were a disaster when Steinbrenner bought them after the '73 season. Why should the Yankees hand over their revenue to other teams who did nothing to develop this revenue?

Why are the LA Dodgers not the dynasty they were for 30 years? Disney has ruined them over the past 15 years. They have enormous market potential & every bit the name recognition of the Yankees. But they have been mismanaged since they were sold. Meanwhile, the Angels have emerged as a successful franchise right in their own backyard & will continue to flourish & grow if they continue to be well managed. It's no coincidence that both the Yankees & Dodgers declined under corporate ownership - CBS in the case of the Yankees. Teams with hands-on private ownership that are committed to winning - like the obnoxious Steinbrenner - will always do much better.

So, bottom line . . . to me the Major League Baseball situation has a very simple solution - get out of the small, unproductive markets & introduce competition into the larger, under-developed markets.

Unfortunately, the small markets want socialism. The big markets will never give it to them. The players' union will never allow it. So, the small markets cling to the hope that the mirage of revenue sharing will solve their problems. Until they end their delusion, the situation will continue.

And what if they implemented revenue sharing? Nirvana? No . . . Parity (I got the spelling right this time, although maybe the other spelling would be better here too? ;D) - just like the NFL. And then people would be longing for the good old days when we had great teams & great rivalries.


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 Post subject: Going Undefeated?
PostPosted: Wed Feb 09, 2005 8:31 pm 
hey great topic, but as of right now, bc has now lost, i can not believe what bc has done, but i dont see them as a legit team this year in the dance, they might get to the sweet 16 but i dont see them going anywhere esle, and illinois, i cant tell, the big 10 is good this year, but not as good as usual, michigan is very week, wisconson is great (at home and illinois already beat them there) and the only other legit team, michigan state, hasnt beaten a team ranked in the top 25 in somethin like 10 games..... so i think illinois goes undefeated through the season, but might end up loosing to wisconson in the league tourney, i dont think illinois can beat them three times, they will end up with a two seed and will make it to at least the great 8, but i do not see them winning it all (oh and WHO did they beat in the preseason, and even away from home)


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