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Posted at 05:16 PM ET, 03/16/2010

Gary Williams defends Virginia Tech

A loyal Virginia Tech fan sent me a long and detailed message Tuesday morning about how the Hokies shouldn't be pilloried for their out-of-conference schedule, because some of their opponents didn't appear to be miserable RPI-killers last year, when the games were scheduled. VMI, UMBC and Iowa, for example, all suffered massive RPI depreciation from the end of the the 2009 season to the end of the 2010 season. This, the reader argued, isn't really Seth Greenberg's fault.

Well, lo and behold, Gary Williams buys that argument.

"Tech's obviously good enough to be in the NCAA tournament, but the problem is, when you schedule your outside games, a lot of times you schedule games based off the RPI from the year before," Williams said on the Sports Junkies, without them even mentioning the word RPI. "And you can't always determine whether a team's gonna be in the top 50, top 100 for the current year, and I think that's what happened for Virginia Tech....

"I know that was the thing said why Virginia Tech didn't make the tournament. See the problem is with automatic qualifiers, you don't get the best 64. Virginia Tech is, without having the sheets in front of me, I guarantee you Virginia Tech's probably better than 20 of the automatic qualifiers, but that's not the NCAA tournament. The NCAA tournament is the automatic qualifiers, and 31 picks, and as long as it's that way, you're gonna have teams left out that are good enough to be in the NCAA tournament."

Sweet. And after Seth Greenberg spoke out for Greivis Vasquez as ACC player of the year, I guess Williams owed them one.

Williams has also spoken out in favor of NCAA tournament expansion, which presumably would have saved the Hokies this spring, but during the same interview he suggested that a 96-team tournament would be "a joke."

"You still have the same group that were always the powerhouses, and now you have more good teams in the Butler-type leagues, things like that," Williams said. "In other words, if Siena's conference had two really good teams, then that second really good team should be in the NCAA tournament, that shouldn't just be an automatic one-[bid] league. So all the leagues would benefit from it.

"What are they talking about, 96 or something like that?" he continued. "That's a joke. That's too many. That's almost out there as a reason not to expand, but if you had eight games tonight instead of one game, how would that affect college basketball? Ninety-six is too many. That's way too many. If you went 96, everybody should be in. Just put everybody in if you went 96, seriously."

(Williams was also asked about CBS's Seth Davis almost immediately putting Michigan State into the Sweet 16, past the Terps; "Dukie," Williams joked. Host Eric Bickel kept ranting; "you don't have to go past that," Williams joked. "Don't get excited.")

(And hell, why not, Williams was also asked about Alex Ovechkin's hit on Brian Campbell.

"I saw the hit on a replay," he said. "I wasn't watching the game, but I saw the hit on SportsCenter or something like that. I don't know the rules that well. I mean, he hit the guy from behind into the boards, and I guess it looked bad, but I thought In hockey there was no penalty if there wasn't any blood.

"I mean, those guys are brought up, and I was at Boston College, and we had probably one of the top hockey teams in college all four years I was there, and those guys are tough guys. And they grow up, they're supposed to hit people. Once in a while, you probably get hit the play before or something and you just go off and get somebody.")

By  |  05:16 PM ET, 03/16/2010

Categories:  College Basketball, College Basketball

 
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