Monday, March 13, 2006 Noon ET

College Basketball

Eric Prisbell
Washington Post Staff Writer
Monday, March 13, 2006; 11:00 AM

Washington Post staff writer Eric Prisbell will be online Monday, March 13, at noon ET to discuss the Maryland Terps and the national scene.

Submit your questions and comments any time before or during today's discussion.

Post Coverage: Men's College Basketball

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Eric Prisbell: Greetings. For me, yesterday was a national holiday. Keep the tough questions coming. I'm going to be as blunt as I can because, well, I have not gotten much sleep and there is a lot to say about the bracket. Tomorrow at 6 a.m., I hop on a plane for what appears to be a West Coast mid-major convention in Salt Lake, so I'm pumped about that. I got two wrong yesterday - Utah State and Air Force. I had Mason in. Let's start.

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McLean, Va: Cincinnati vs Air Force? Cincy has better RPI (by 10), better SOS (5 vs 158), better non-conf SOS (22 vs 273) - - - which team should be in the NCAA tournament? Also, Cincy's biggest win was over LSU. Air Force's biggest win was over Miami, FL.

Eric Prisbell: When Air Force popped on the screen, I turned to the woman next to me and said, "Well, we're in a war, right?" This wasn't calculator vs. common sense. This was more like patriotism vs. common sense. In 17 years following the tournament closely, I can't remember a more curious at-large selection. In the last four games, Cincy lost by two to Nova, beat WV and lost by one to a just-getting-hot Cuse team. When you ask, "Which team is dangerous?" the words Air Force aren't uttered among the top 80 schools.

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Monroe, Mich.: Why did Michigan get snubbed from the NCAA tournament? Are we still seeing blowback from Chris Webber's indiscretions?

Eric Prisbell: Michigan was given a ticket to the NCAA tournament and then played its way out of the field. They were 3-7 in the last 10 and I think the only team to make it with that crummy of a finish was FSU in 98.

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Washington, DC: How did Tennessee get a #2 seed when they have lost 4 of their last 6?

Eric Prisbell: Maybe Pearl promised to give each committee member one of those orange jackets. Didn't make sense to me. Did Boston College get a 4 or have my eyes weakened some more? The Eagles are a final four sleeper that deserved a two or a three. Gonzaga had as tough of a nonconference as they could get. I thought they were more deserving than the Vols. The team in the SEC to watch is LSU.

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Washington, DC: I'm a Florida State fan, and I know the Noles blew it against Wake. Having said that, I found the Virginia AD's lecture insinuating that teams like FSU didn't get in because of weak out-of-conference schedules to be disingenuous. Maryland and Cincinnati played tough schedules, had a few extra losses because of it, and were left out. It seems like you are damned if you do and damned if you don't. And how can he make that argument when they took Texas A&M (admittedly a hot team, but one who played a Charmin-soft schedule)?

Eric Prisbell: And I think you summed it up right there. There was no pattern, no rhyme or reason. For some teams, let's tout the RPI. For others, like Missouri State, the RPI is bogus and they won't belong. It's an odd bracket. That said, the best four teams will wind up in Indy.

FSU played Rainbow Bright and Strawberry Shortcake in the non-conference but I had them as my last team in because I thought the committee would go four from the MVC and five from the ACC to avoid a major controversy.

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Washington, DC: So who was on the Selection Committee? Is the list public? I thought I heard that 7 of the 10 members were from small/mid-major conferences - - - is that true?

Eric Prisbell: Littlepage

Guerrero

Karl Benson (mid-major)

Christopher Hill (mid-major)

Laing Kennedy (mid-major)

LeCrone (mid-major)

Tom O'Connor (mid-major)

Slive

Vowels (mid-major)

Gary Walters

I told Gary Williams last night that parts of the NIT field might be stronger than the NCAA field because all the mid-majors are in the NCAA tournament field. He smiled.

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Arlington, Va: Wow, did the Committee step up for 'Nova or what. Being a one-seed is sweet! Cats play at home the first two rounds, get the champion of the 9th-rated (RPI) conference in the Sweet 16 (oooh, tough), and a quality team that's weak inside and now on probation in the Elite Eight. The Committee cleared the decks for Villanova on matchups and now it's time to take advantage.

Eric Prisbell: Villanova, if healthy, is my national championship team. I have Nova beating Texas in the final.

I was glad to see that three of my four Final Four picks from before the year earned No. 1 seeds.

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Herndon, Va: Eric,

Did you notice where, of the four MVC teams invited, three of them face Big East opponents in the first round? Do you believe the Committee intentionally arranged this? If one conference sweeps, it will justify one set of bids while disparaging the other's, won't it?

W. Virginia v. S. IllinoisSeton Hall v. Wichita St.Georgetown v. N. Iowa

Eric Prisbell: That's very interesting. Doug Elgin, the Valley's commissioner, might feel some pressure this week. I think the Valley has to have one of the four make the Sweet 16. The scrutiny will be intense. The main event for the Valley comes when Missouri State clashes with Maryland in the NIT. I may show for that one. But after last night's fiasco at Comcast Center, I am not fond of the NIT.

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New Concord, Ohio: Hey, Eric, which were the most surprising inclusions/omissions, in your view? I'd say Tennessee at 2, but BC at 4, GW at 8, Hofstra excluded, and more get consideration. Your thoughts?

Eric Prisbell: Tennessee. (huh?)

UCLA a No. 2 (not quite)

(Now, I like UCLA as a sleeper pick, have all season, but there seems to be some favoritism toward the West Coast schools. How did Washington last year get a No. 1 over Louisville? Did Nevada really deserve a No. 5 seed? They beat Kansas when Kansas was not really Kansas yet this season, if that makes sense.

Air Force/Utah State (One word: No.)

Cincy not making it (feel for Andy Kennedy)

No one got a worse draw than George Washington. Why not just ship them to the NIT? I was worried GW would get a raw deal because of the Zags in 2002 (they got a No. 6). But I really expected a 6 or 7 seed and never expected that they would play in the Carolina Carnival in Greensboro.

Hofstra had a 283rd-ranked SOS, so, much like FSU, they did nto play anyone and I did not feel like they would be rewarded for it.

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Washington, DC: Can you explain how a team like UCLA, that hasn't even come close to beating a ranked team all season and was demolished by USC, gets a 2 seed, while vastly superior teams like GW and Georgetown are seeded 8 and 7, respectively, and Maryland is omitted entirely? Any of those 3 teams would reduce UCLA, and a host of others, to dust. Isn't it time someone called out the selction committe on its bias against this area's teams, and in favor of west coast teams?

Eric Prisbell: UCLA is very talented, particularly in the backcourt, and well coached. The Bruins will contend for the national title next season. They could make a final four run this year in that West bracket. But Maryland did not deserve to go. Their resume was bland, bland, bland.

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New York, NY: Hey Eric,

I nearly cried in my beer on friday when Allen Ray went down. 'Nova has to be the most snakebitten team in the last three years. What have you heard about his condition and what are our chances if he's a no-go?

Eric Prisbell: I totally agree. I mentioned that to a bracket guru the other day. From the traveling call to injuries. When Nova lost to UNC game last year, I was watching the game on TV in New Mexico and remember thinking that they'd win it this year. If Ray is healthy, I think they do. Last I heard is he might wear goggles this week, but I have no idea how the eye will affect his shooting. The Nova-BC game will be a war. BC has been on this so-called Revenge Tour all month. Not much will stop this confident bunch. But a healthy Nova team will.

My Final Four:

Nova

UConn

Texas

Memphis

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Burke, Va: What happened at the Comcast Center to make you down on the NIT?

Eric Prisbell: I shouldn't say I am down on the NIT. I applaud what the NCAA has down this year in controlling the NIT. I think the NIT will be better than in years past, particularly with many of the bigger name schools in it. I like the seeding aspect. But a bizarre turn of events unfolded last night at Comcast Center that only a few people were witness to. Maryland declined an invite then accepted. I was in the arena for seven hours and closed it down for the night, as I was the last to leave.

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Chicago, Ill: What was the fiasco at the Comcast Center? Also, outside of Air Force and Utah State, your snide little comment to Gary Williams is completely inaccurate. As a Georgetown alum, I'm much more scared to be facing N. Iowa than Maryland or FSU.

Eric Prisbell: I wrote about last night's Comcast Center events in today's story.

Trust me, I like the mid-majors as much as anyone. That's why I wanted to go to Salt Lake to cover those teams. But this has been the year of the mid-major program, to some degree. I would say Northern Iowa is about as dangerous as FSU, but Northern Iowa has slumped lately. I've been on Northern Iowa's bandwagon since October.

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Alexandria, Va: What time on Thursday does GW play? I was hoping for a night game, but somehow I doubt it...I cannot find it anywhere online.

Eric Prisbell: 7:10 p.m.

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Springfield, Va: Surprised but Happy....George Mason in and also playing so close to home???? Not one of the so called "experts" had Mason in the Dance.

Eric Prisbell: Lunardi has them in, I believe.

I had them in as my second-to-last team in.

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Upsets?: Eric,

Which teams do you think are most likely to pull upsets in the first round of the tourney?

Eric Prisbell: Southern Illinois

Utah State

Wisconsin-Milwaukee

and I think Tennessee has a good chance to pull off an upset in the first round. Oh, the Vols are a No. 2 seed? Sorry, it's easy to forget.

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Cleveland Park, Washington, DC: You wrote: "When Air Force popped on the screen, I turned to the woman next to me and said, "Well, we're in a war, right?" This wasn't calculator vs. common sense. This was more like patriotism vs. common sense."

Patriotism? I don't think so. When Air Force goes down in the first round, it'll only give aid and comfort to our enemies. Clearly the NCAA Selection Committee is in bed with the terrorists.

Eric Prisbell: I'll let this comment stand alone.

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Sec. 100 Hoyas Season Tix: Predictions on how far local teams will go? GW got a lousy seed, though given their SOS, it's tough not to be surprised. G'town? Mason?

Eric Prisbell: GW got a raw deal, but I'm curious to watch Duke-GW. At times, Duke has looked vulnerable. At times, they've looked like a team that will play on Monday night.

Georgetown could make the sweet 16, though I'm not picking it.

If Michigan State plays anywhere near what they did in Maui, the Spartans will beat Mason by a decent margin.

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Arlington, Va: Even with a healthy Ray, Nova does not match up well with Boston College. BC has seen Nova's act plenty of times, and they have more reliable scoring with Smith and Dudley pounding inside. Plus, I've seen Sean Williams get in the heads of the Wildcats--they haven't forgotten him from last year. Nova needs to rain threes, and in a dome with the attendant depth perception issues I'll take the pedestrian but more reliable offense.

Eric Prisbell: Good point. I struggled over this pick for some time late last night, or early this morning. I just remember that Wisconsin-Milwaukee eliminated BC last year and made a ton of threes. So it can be done. I may have picked BC for the Final Four if they did not run into Nova. My whole bracket rests with Nova.

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Kensington, Md: Eric,

You said Lunardi had Mason in. Thats a big change from Saturday night when he had them out. Don't you think he got some inside info and put them in? Nothing changed enough for Mason to go from out to not even being the last 4 in.

Eric Prisbell: Yes, I do think he got inside info from Indy and that is why he made the change Sunday afternoon.

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Washington, DC: Can we please stop the Maryland love fest now? Maryland wins the national title and the recruiting class brought in gives them 2 straight NIT trips. Add insult to injury, Georgetown, GW and Mason all receive at-large bids. Cry all they want, but this Maryland team wasn't that good. Nobody outside of this area thought they had a chance after losing to BC. Enjoy the 11am tip time.

Eric Prisbell: Take note, Mr. Gallo.

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Arlington, Va: Is there going to still be the regular Wednesday chat this week? Are you going to be on it? Who's covering the NIT this year?

washingtonpost.com: A different chat every day this week:Tuesday, noon: Dan Steinberg; Wed, noon: Camille Powell; Thursday, 11 a.m: Matt Rennie. Is there one on Friday, Eric?

Eric Prisbell: As of now, it might be just Monday through Thursday.

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Alexandria, Va: As a UVA alumnus, I was studying the NIT bracket and I found it rather odd that in several instances the lower-seeded team gets the home game (Butler instead of Miami of Ohio; Notre Dame instead of Vanderbilt). What gives?

BTW, unlike our neighbors across the river, I'm not about to whine about my team being in the NIT or being sent to the West Coast. If you had told me in November that Virginia would be in the NIT, I'd have thought you were nuts! Kudos to Dave Leitao. Either way, neither Virginia nor Maryland got the job done when it counted, and neither team deserved an NCAA bid.

Do you think Leitao deserves the ACC coach of the year award?

Eric Prisbell: Leitao was in the hunt until the final two weeks. I'd give it to Roy Williams.

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Bethesda, Md: My Hoyas have major problems holding on to leads ('Cuse, WVU twice, and if Duke had 2 more mins, our season would have looked very different).

While not looking past N. Iowa, can we beat Ohio State? Tony K and Wilbon both think so.

Eric Prisbell: They could, though I am taking Ohio State. I like Matta. I covered Xavier when they made the run in the A-10 tourney two years ago and then reached the elite eight. They'll contend for the nation title next season.

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Washington D.C.: Eric, who are your NIT finals Picks? Maryland v. FSU just to slap it to the NCAA Slection Committee.

Eric Prisbell: I have not studied the entire NIT field. But, like I said before, I think the NIT will be better this season. I am not down on the NIT. I like the Missouri Valley schools like Missouri State and Creighton to make strong runs. I wonder how Maryland and FSU will get motivated.

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Baltimore, Md.: As a Villanova alum, I am ecstatic that they got a No. 1 seed. But the thing I like most about the program now can be summed up in two words: Jay Wright.

Eric Prisbell: That's gotta be my wife chiming in again.

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Simpsonville, SC: Nova does not match up with BC? Really?

Nova and BC know each others programs intimtaly, and like any Big East inter conference game it is just a dogfight. Anyone can win.

Having seen Nova play this year, they look awfully good.

Eric Prisbell: Agree.

NOva-BC is one of my key games in the tournament.

I also like Texas-Duke

NOrth Carolina-Michigan State

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Washington, DC: Eric, you guys have been down on Florida all season. After handling the "best" team in the SEC (LSU), do you think all the young guys can keep up the winning pace? Can they beat BC?

Eric Prisbell: I am not crazy about the bottom of that Minneapolis bracket, to be honest. I have OU gone in round one. The Florida-South Alabama matchup is interesting because both coaches are Pitino guys. I think Ohio State has overachieved. Georgetown may have a chance to reach the Elite Eight. Certainly they have an easier draw than, say, GW.

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Washington, DC: Thoughts on the Packer/Nantz "interview" of Littlepage? Does Packer just want to cause controversy and get his name out there like he did with St Joe's a few years ago?

Eric Prisbell: I've only read about it here and there the past 10 hours because I was talking to Maryland people at that time last night. Packer has some strong opinions, to say the least. If he said that no Valley teams truly belonged, that's not true. Northern Iowa has proven it can play with some of the nation's best. I was happy with four Missouri Valley teams but thought they actually deserved five.

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Clifton, Va: What time in the GMU VS MSU game? Might have to cancel a herding lesson.

Eric Prisbell: 7:10

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Pittsburgh, Pa: Since I work at U of Pitt, our office has been debating how far the Panthers will go in the tournament. I say they go out in the 2nd round, another says they go the semis. What's your take?

Eric Prisbell: You know, I struggled a lot with the Pitt-Kansas matchup. It really tore me up. Kansas is so hot. I just think the youth will catch up with them soon. I picked Pitt after talking to people who watched the BE tourney, but I was not confident with that pick. That said, I have Memphis, an athletic team led by Carney and Darius Washington, in the Final Four.

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Washington, DC: What do you make of Seton Hall? I think they have a great draw and tend to play to the competition, which is a benefit once in the tournament.

Eric Prisbell: I think Wichita State is the better team. I had Seton Hall in the field because they played people in the non-conference and finished with at least a .500 record in the BE. But I'll take the Valley's regular season champ.

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Louisville, Ky: Do you think the rankings should play more of a factor in the seedings? I'm not a GWU fan, but it seems like a top ten team should definitely not be an 8 sead.

Eric Prisbell: I thought GW should have been a 6 or 7 seed. You wonder about that, you really wonder about that No. 8 seed. And not just a No. 8 seed. The only thing worse would be to match them up against 1991 UNLV in the second round.

(As we have found out, there are some GW fans who think GW is as good as 1991 UNLV.)

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Bowie, Md: Why does the NCAA appear to want to be "funny" and pair up teams with a history? This year, specifically, with rematches of two recent upsets, Kentucky-UAB and Pitt-Kent State, and coach vs former assistant coach with Florida-South Alabama. It seems like something like this happens every year.

Do you think CBS asks the committee to do this for "better TV", is the committee simply being perverse, or is this just all random chance?

Eric Prisbell: All just random chance? Yeah, right. Just like Syracuse-Maryland two years ago, a meeting of the past two national champs. It happens, but I like it. I like the story lines. But they should admit as much.

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Washington, DC: Syracuse has the potential to screw up my bracket. It seems like they're the real deal, but it's hard to tell if they're really good or just lucky. How far do you see them going?

Eric Prisbell: I agree. A team like Syracuse is hard to judge. But since they lost last year in the first round, I don't see them doing it again. I have LSU, a team I really like with Big Baby Davis, beating them in the second round. An LSU-Duke matchup would be one I would be interested in.

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Washington, DC: You mention Lunardi had Mason in. Do you find it strange that Lunardi moved Mason from "Next Four Out" to "In" at 4pm Sunday? Mason had not played a game in over a week!! I think Lunardi got the wind of something Sunday and cheated.

Eric Prisbell: I don't think he cheated. You go with what you know. I also made the switch to move Mason in Sunday afternoon and felt so strongly about it that I emailed the office to say I wanted to be on record saying Mason and Seton Hall would get two of the final spots. Hectic day.

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Not deserving of a bid...: Even though the Terps clearly don't deserve to be in the NCAA tournament, I was thinking last night as I did my first draft of the bracket, that if by a miracle they did get included, that the terps would last the longest of all the area teams. What I'm getting at is that all the top teams are vulnerable. If the Terps' forwards (gist and ibekwe) are on their game, they can beat nearly anyone in the country. What's your prognosis of the Terps lineup next year?

Eric Prisbell: I like the lineup next year if Hayes can play the PG slot from the start, which would move DJ to the 3. It would be a fun team to watch, and a better team, in my opinion.

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Phoenix, Ariz: Eric, after covering the Terps all year what is your take on what is wrong with the program? The team and Gary Williams talked since last year of making sure to not miss the NCAA's again after last year. They talked of being simliar to the 2004 team and seemed ready to make a strong run in the ACC tourney. Then to come out and get blown out in the first 5 minutes of the most important game of the year and to then talk about being tired and flat just doesn't make any sense. What is going on with this team that can't even play hard when their entire season is on the line?

Eric Prisbell: I don't think effort was as much a problem for this team as a lack of options. They were overmatched in many games. The backcourt was supposed to be McCray-Gilchrist, two seniors. Garrison failed to live up to expectations. Mike Jones came on, albeit slowly.

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Washington, DC: How do you see GU matching up with Northern Iowa?

Eric Prisbell: I see Georgetown coming out strong. The mystery to me now is Northern Iowa because I don't know what the Panthers have left. When they beat LSU, I thought they could be a sweet 16 team. But they struggled toward the end of conference play and were fortunate to beat Bucknell. G-town's athleticism should be too much. Then again, NIU handled an athletic LSU team.

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Kingstowne, Va: The ACC Tournament sure made for some interesting viewing. I think Boston College proved that they're an excellent overall addition to the league; they played well in football, and I was very impressed with their performance on the basketball court. As a Duke alum I'm glad the game turned out the way it did, but it was certainly an excellent game.

I think some of the Virginia Tech fans, however, further showed that the addition of their school to the ACC was stupid. They're a one-trick pony. When it was clear that they were going to lose to UVA, their fans started chanting "Can't beat us in football." Yeh, great way to impress the ACC, a historical BASKETBALL power. Talking to those people about hoops is like talking to a Duke fan during football season (i.e., a waste of time!) Syracuse's run through the Big East tournament just makes me think that it's a real shame that the ACC didn't take them instead of VT.

Eric Prisbell: I enjoyed covering the ACC tournament down there and watching the Boston College team. Tune in to BC-NOva. Kind of reminds me of that Iowa State-Michigan State game in 2000, which kind of decided the tournament.

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Washington, DC: How is what Lunardi did not cheating? This is not him taking public info like RPI, records, rankings etc and being the bracketologist ESPN has made him out to be. He took knowledge of the situation and used it to act like you knew they were in. I imagine he realized if he threw Utah State and Air Force in there everyone would know he was a total fraud.

Eric Prisbell: No one cheated, okay. I saw Katz report that word out of Indy was that the Skinn suspension would affect seeding, not a berth. Then I see Lunardi add Mason to the field Sunday. That is what I saw. Lunardi and Palm are both well-respected bracket gurus who know their stuff.

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Baltimore, Md: Eric,

The Oakland bracket is by far the weakest bracket. Aside from Kansas, the top 4 teams are talented, but have played in weak conferences. I'm looking at Kansas to come out of that region, especially after their performance in the Big 12 tourney.

Eric Prisbell: They could. I think it is the most wide open and maybe the most interesting. Gonzaga has a shot if they can play defense, unlike Wake Forest last season.

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Venice, Calif: You need to lay off the drinks, Eric, if you thought the Missouri Valley Conference deserved 5 bids. It's true that Maryland was a much weaker team without McCray, but they are still better than half a dozen at-large teams that made it. (Including all the Missouri Valley teams.) I think this is the worst job done by the committee since it expanded to 64 teams. Don't you think the RPI should be revamped?

Eric Prisbell: I think the RPI needs to be examined. I thought Missouri State deserved the fifth spot because they had a crazy high RPI of 20ish. No team higher than 33 has ever been left out. But i thought the committee would put Florida State in over Missouri State in part to avoid the backlash of having more Valley teams than ACC teams. It is the most "unusual" bracket I can remember in 17 years following this stuff.

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Gaithersburg, Md: Has there ever been discussion of making the play-in game between the last two bubble teams instead of automatic bid recipients? Wouldn't Cincinnati vs. Bradley/Air Force be more interesting?

Eric Prisbell: Some coaches, including Gary Williams, want to see the field expanded to 128 teams. I wouldn't mind.

But, yeah, I've heard just talk about what you said among some reporters/coaches.

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Washington, D.C.: Bilas and Digger think the Hoyas are an Elite 8 team -- what

do you think? How far do you see the Hoyas going in the

Tournament?

Also, What do you think about Georgetown's and GW's seeds?

Are they fair? Too low? Too high?

Eric Prisbell: I think the winner of the Georgetown-Ohio State game will be in the Elite Eight. I will take Ohio State. But it should be a heck of a game.

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Orlando, Fla: Seems like years past, analysts screamed bloody murder when mid majors with great records and good rpi's got snubbed for majors with average rpi's and average records. Now it is the polar opposite. Air Force, Texas A&M, Mason got crucified yesterday. I see both sides of the argument. My question is why the big swing in opinion with the 'experts'?

Eric Prisbell: It's weird. There is a lot of confusion this season regarding the RPI. And a lot of big-school coaches are upset that the tournament seems to be taken over by the computer geeks. I think it makes for some good debate. But the selection sunday controversy reached a high yesterday, in my opinion.

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Hoyas!!!: First, let me say, I was ecstatic with the seed given to GW. Second, thank you for doing these chats. Third, does syrcuse really deserve a 5 seed above Marquette and Georgetown? They had a losing record in conference prior to the tournament, and happen to string together four decent games. Come on, both Marquette and G'town played well throughout the season and desrved higher seeds.

Eric Prisbell: I thought Georgetown's seed was about right. GW? Too poor of a seed.

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Fairfax, Va: Are the conference tournaments "net good"or "net bad" for college basketball? Would we rather see the upside of a Gerry McNamara performance and the downside of the Allen Ray injury, UCONN loss, GW loss, Mason loss, Illinois loss in the conference tournaments or in the "Big Dance" itself? I do remember that Duke won it all one year after losing in the ACC and I think that may have been true of one of the Big East teams as well.

Eric Prisbell: I always feel better about picking a national champion when they lose in the conference tournament. Happened to UNC last year. It gives the team a chance to refocus. I see Texas, UConn, NOva in that mix this season.

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Washington, DC: Gotta love that GW seeding. They probably got jobbed with the #8, BUT, if the knock on A-10 and all mid-major teams is that they can't compete with the "big boys," what could prove/disprove that better than a second round matchup against Duke? That is, of course, if they survive round one.

Eric Prisbell: Exactly. Beat Duke and no one will say a word again about GW's nonconference schedule. Duke gets in foul trouble, even with Nelson and Dockery. Could be interesting.

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Mason Is In!: I hope Eric's not going to discuss Maryland during this chat...they really can't blame anyone but themselves for not getting an invite-the disorganization has reached the point where they didn't even know if they were playing in the NIT.

And please, no whining about Hofstra being left out. Their schedule was cake this year, even if they did beat Mason twice. Maybe next year they'll work on playing some other tough mid-majors to bolster their RPI.

Eric Prisbell: 2 8 3

Hofstra's nonconference strength of schedule.

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Vienna, Va: As a Mason graduate, I never thought I'd see the day Mason would earn an at-large bid. I find it funny that the local media keeps implying Mason got in over Maryland. Watching all the shows last night, Maryland wasn't even close to Missouri St, Cincy, FSU or Hofstra. And there were 4 at-larges with lower seeds than Mason.

Eric Prisbell: A good day for Mason fans.

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Alexandria, Va: What a glorious day in sports after a long, and tough weekend. Local teams got shafted, but as they say, "The proof is is the pudding." MD did little this year, and nothing w/o McCray (how can you hold tight on a win at Miami, unless your Friedgen). And GW feels the burn of weak scheduliing, a down conference, and getting bounced early. Sorry to blast.

What do you think about the healthy seed for Tenn.? Do you think Duke got shafted with their apparent "Top Seed?" Great Job for Mason (CAA needed multiple bids), but what the hech happened to Hofstra--talk about ouch? That has to be as bad as Michigan's Non-Invite (9-7 in a competitive Big 10). I hope one of those two wins the NIT, though I won't be watching that garbage!

Thank you Mr. Prisbell, you truly are a gentleman and a scholar.

Eric Prisbell: Obviously you have not examined my college grades.

Michigan slumped too much down the stretch.

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Washington, DC (via Wichita, KS): Eric,

I'm sure that many other people are asking GW questions (as they should be - GW's seed makes no sense), so I'll steer away from those. Instead, what are the chances that my two teams from Kansas, KU and Wichita State, will make runs. I think Kansas has a very good shot to make it to the final four from their region, and if WSU can play with the consistency and heart they had through the middle of their season, I could see them in the sweet sixteen. What do you think?

Eric Prisbell: Great question. I like that angle. That would be a cool story to do if both reached the sweet 16. Both have a decent chance. Wichita's second round matchup with Tenn. is reasonable.

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Eric Prisbell: That's all the time we have. Thanks for all the great questions. Another chat coming tomorrow with another college basketball writer. Take care.

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