NCAA REVEALS FIRST LOOK
This "first look" has Louisville as their #2 pick in the nation, behind Baylor.
A top seed for a regional. Right now, the bracketology boys are saying Chicago is the location the Cards would head to after the first two rounds. For Cardinal fans, a nice choice. Chi-Town is closer than Greensboro, Albany or Portland.
This is a first look, yes, but I'd be quite happy with Stanford, Iowa State and Marquette as the other three schools heading up to the home of the Cubbies.
So, here's how it looks:
#1 SEED LINE
4) Mississippi State
#2 SEED LINE has UConn, Notre Dame, Stanford and North Carolina State in the slots. After that, the #3's include Marquette, Iowa, Maryland and Oregon State. The top 16 conclude with #4 seeds South Carolina, Gonzaga, Iowa State and Miami (FL).
While watching the revealing last night, I heard ESPN analysis Debbie Antonelli (one of my favorite "talking heads" ESPN has) argue for a one site, invite all sixteen teams to one place tournament setting instead of the four regionals. It is an idea I've head before but I'm not sure how I feel about.
My initial reaction is ' no, it would be crazy for fan travel', -- like Oregon having to go to New York City or Louisville to Hawaii scenarios -- and expensive, since you'd be playing four game over at least a 7-10 day period, if you keep winning.
I enjoyed having the two-game, UofL's regional in Lexington last year. I'm not so sure I would like having to head to Kansas City, Denver or (fill in your own city). But, I can also see bringing every one into one locale, like the College World Series, and letting them battle it out.
Hey, how about the YUM! Center? It's big, we got hotel rooms and a basketball crazy populace! The chances of the NCAA ever putting their stamp of approval on that concept, though, roughly equal me suiting up and spelling Sam Fuehring in the paint this year.
This needs to be about the fans. If you are trying to grow the game, put the teams in the areas where the fans have fairly easy access.
When I look at these sixteen, current teams on the list...I 'd go groupings of:
Greensboro: Louisville, Miami, South Carolina and NC State.
Albany: Mississippi State, Notre Dame, UConn and Maryland
Chicago: Baylor, Iowa State, Iowa and Marquette
Portland: Oregon, Oregon State, Stanford, Gonzaga
Yes, I hear your arguments already, but this makes sense from a regional grouping process. And, these top 16 will likely change as the weeks go by. Is there any easy way to match and send?
What are your "assignment to region" thoughts? Give us an idea in the comments section. And, does it really matter? To be the best, you have to beat the rest. We've seen what road games can do to top teams in the ACC this year.
After all, when did the NCAA ever make any sense?
ASIA DURR ON NAISMITH WATCH LIST
"Nite-nite" one of 30 that are on the Naismith Mid-season watch list. This, of course, comes as no surprise to Louisvillians or the rest of the nation. She's the only Cardinal who made it to the top 30.
Four Notre Dame players still alive on the end-of-season award list. The Huskies have three. Baylor with two and Oregon with two.
Another honor for the superlative Cardinal senior.
She is the best player in women's college basketball and that's the end of the story.
HOWIE LINDSEY LEAVING LOUISVILLE FIRST
Popular morning radio personality Howie Lindsey is leaving his role as the host of LOUISVILLE FIRST on 790 WKRD AM Cards Radio to accept a position as public relations director for Louisville City FC Soccer.
An opportunity he couldn't pass on.
He has been kind and gracious to Cardinal Couple. We'll miss not hearing him Mon-Fri mornings. I'll miss not chatting with him on-air Tuesday mornings.
Best of luck and continued success Howie!