西瓜视频

The University of Pittsburgh's Daily Student Newspaper

西瓜视频

The University of Pittsburgh's Daily Student Newspaper

西瓜视频

The University of Pittsburgh's Daily Student Newspaper

西瓜视频

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Pitt track and field athlete inducted into Delaware Sports Museum & Hall of Fame
Pitt track and field athlete inducted into Delaware Sports Museum & Hall of Fame
By Grace McNally, Staff Writer • June 13, 2024
Opinion | Long-distance friendships are possible
By Livia LaMarca, Assistant 西瓜视频 Editor • June 6, 2024

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Pitt track and field athlete inducted into Delaware Sports Museum & Hall of Fame
Pitt track and field athlete inducted into Delaware Sports Museum & Hall of Fame
By Grace McNally, Staff Writer • June 13, 2024
Opinion | Long-distance friendships are possible
By Livia LaMarca, Assistant 西瓜视频 Editor • June 6, 2024

Column | Changes needed to field the best 68 in March Madness

A+referee+holds+a+basketball+in+the+Petersen+Events+Center.%0A
Courtesy of Pamela Smith
A referee holds a basketball in the Petersen Events Center.

In the 2023-24 college basketball season, Pitt men鈥檚 basketball barely missed out on an NCAA Tournament bid and a chance to make an in March Madness.聽

Pitt was the last team to beat the Wolfpack before they lost to Purdue in the Final Four, and the Panthers had a solid core that could have won in March.聽

The country was robbed of watching senior forward Blake Hinson and three ultra-talented Pitt guards in March Madness. Instead, the nation had to watch Virginia get destroyed by Colorado State in the First Four.

Nevertheless, that is the past, and there is nothing we can do about it besides hope something changes.聽

This basketball offseason, the ACC has acted proactively for next season by bringing ESPN Bracketologist Joe Lunardi to its so that Pitt and fellow ACC schools can learn how to earn more at-large bids to the NCAA Tournament.聽

Good on the ACC for trying. Bad on the ACC for getting Lunardi, of all people, to help guide the conference in earning more at-large bids.聽

Don鈥檛 get me wrong, I respect Lunardi for everything he has done in creating the term 鈥鈥 and the science behind it. Despite this, he is not the best at his job. According to 鈥 a website that ranks the accuracy of Bracketologists 鈥 Lunardi ranks 119th among the 179 Bracketologists. This is not good or even average.聽

Better yet, the ACC shouldn鈥檛 have even invited the best Bracketologist ever to its spring meetings because they have no real say in who is in March Madness. They are simply projecting the field.聽

The ACC should have invited someone who has a spot on the 2024-25 March Madness Selection Committee to see what they value in the teams they select for the NCAA Tournament.

Still, we know why some teams make it and why some teams don鈥檛. Pitt missed out on the 鈥渂ig dance鈥 because of its porous performance in its lackluster non-conference schedule.

The Panthers went 2-2 against Power Six teams in their non-conference games. In one of its two losses, which kept Pitt out of the postseason, Pitt fell to a Missouri team that failed to win a single SEC game all year.聽

But one loss in November shouldn鈥檛 decide whether a team like Pitt makes it to March Madness. The NCAA has to have a better way to get the best possible teams into the NCAA Tournament.聽

Here are some possible solutions to further enhance the Field of 68:

The Selection Committee has to put some value on how a team finishes its season.

The teams that succeed the most in March Madness are usually those that were hot at the end of the season, like NC State. Teams that finish the season cold fail in March Madness, such as Virginia.聽

Teams should move some of their Power Six nonconference games to the middle of the season.

In doing this, teams aren鈥檛 ruined by their beginning-of-the-year struggles against inferior opponents. This removes the Selection Committee鈥檚 need to look at how a team played in November compared to how they played in March.

Every power conference should play at least one game against an opponent from every other power conference.

At the end of the year, before Selection Sunday, there is always the stupid debate on which power conference is the best. With these new matchups, there is less debating and the Selection Committee doesn鈥檛 have to guess which power conference stands at the top.

There is no perfect solution to fielding the perfect 68 teams for March Madness. By adding these fixes, though, the selection committee would have an easier time on Selection Sunday and make those weekends in March slightly more enjoyable than they already are.

About the Contributor
Matthew Scabilloni, Senior Staff Writer