For all the talk about how unwatchable the First Four games in Dayton would be, how it's not "part of the tournament', Tuesday turned out to be an exciting and historical day. Both games featured thrilling comebacks, with Western Kentucky and BYU now headed to Louisville for games against Kentucky and Marquette respectively. In attendance for some of the action were President Barack Obama and David Cameron, who as Prime Minister of the United Kingdom was the president's guest in Dayton.
On Sunday the Iona Gaels were a surprise addition to the field of 68, earning a 14-seed in the West Region and a date with BYU on Tuesday in Dayton. The winner plays three-seed Marquette on Thursday afternoon in Dayton, and with the school holding a teleconference on Sunday night CHN writer Jon Teitel took notes of their comments.
(14) IONA vs. (14) BRIGHAM YOUNG
Player of the Year Anthony Davis, only a freshman, highlights CollegeHoops.net's 2012 All-America Team. Davis, the nation's leading shot-blocker, led Kentucky to a 30-1 regular season record. Davis is joined on the First Team by Thomas Robinson of Kansas, Draymond Green of Michigan State, Doug McDermott of Creighton, and Isaiah Canaan of Murray State.
Canaan is joined on the First Team by fellow guards Scott Machado of Iona and Damian Lillard of Weber St. A pair of senior forwards round out the squad in Dominique Morrison of Oral Roberts and Ryan Pearson of George Mason.
One of the dangers of conference tournaments at the mid-major level is that the top seed, regardless of the margin by which they won the regular season title, are just 40 minutes away from seeing their dream of going to the NCAA tournament vanish. While there's still a chance as the Field of 68 won't be announced for another six days Iona and Middle Tennessee no longer have control of their own fate, and that has to be a concern for both fan bases along with the players and coaches.
Over the last 6 years, the highest RPI team not to make the field has consistently come from a non-BCS conference. In fact, over the last three years, the committee became even more biased. At least the 5 best RPI teams not to make the field were "mid-majors".