Upsets are not new to the NCAA tournament, but the dimension of some of those pulled in the first week of the tournament this season may change the way the field is selected and seeded next year.
"I think we'll definitely have to think about changing our thinking," Gene Corrigan, a member of the tournament selection committee, said after Indiana had lost to Cleveland State, Notre Dame to Arkansas-Little Rock and Syracuse to Navy. "You look at a Cleveland State -- they won 27 games, they're good. They probably deserved higher than a 14th seed. The same is true with a lot of non-name schools.
"I really think we'll have to think twice next year both in terms of who we take and who we don't and in terms of where we place teams. I think this weekend will open a lot of people's eyes."
Navy Coach Paul Evans might have cost himself a shot at the Southern California job today. He was scheduled to fly to Los Angeles Monday to be interviewed for the vacancy there if the Midshipmen had lost today.
Now, Evans will not make the trip. That might eliminate him from consideration because Athletic Director Mike McGee reportedly wants to hire a coach this week.
Syracuse Coach Jim Boeheim has failed to win more than once in any of his eight NCAA appearances. That frustrating fact may help explain the shot he took at Navy this afternoon. Asked how well the Midshipmen might do in the rest of the tournament, Boeheim said:
"I think with Robinson in the game they can beat anybody in the tournament. If he is in foul trouble, though, they're in big trouble, they can't beat anybody. Without Robinson, Navy can't beat anybody in the country."
In the country?
Last Saturday, before the Duke-Virginia ACC tournament semifinal game, the Virginia students decided to take on the Duke students -- a tougher assignment probably than taking on the No. 1-ranked basketball team.
This was the exchange:
Virginia: "Nixon went to Duke, Nixon went to Duke."
Duke: "Not our fault, not our fault."
Virginia: "Lefty Driesell went to Duke, Lefty went to Duke."
Duke: " Terry Holland played for Lefty, Holland played for Lefty."
Interesting to note the records of various conferences after two rounds of NCAA play:
The ACC is 9-2 with four teams in the round of 16. The Southeastern Conference is 8-0 and also has four in the final 16. The Big Ten, which hasn't had a Final Four team since 1981, is 4-5 with only Scott Skiles and Michigan State still alive. The Big Eight, which received five bids, is 4-3 with Kansas and Iowa State still playing. The Sun Belt, which got four bids, is 3-4 and everyone has gone home. And the perennially pathetic Pacific-10? Zero and two, almost as good as last year's 0-4.
As for the Big East, which had a record last season of 18-5, including three Final Four teams and the national champion, the record is 4-4. And no one from the league is still playing, unless you count Providence in the NIT.
With Gary Williams gone to Ohio State, Boston College is looking for a coach. The leading candidate is St. Bonaventure's Jim O'Brien, although Bob Dukiet of St. Peter's and Mitch Buonaguro of Fairfield also will be considered. All three are BC graduates.
Don't expect Cleveland State Coach Kevin Mackey, a former BC assistant, to be considered. But do expect his name to show up in consideration for several other vacancies after his team's performance this weekend.
Quote of the week: Navy's Vernon Butler, talking about the fact that the coaches say this is the time of the year to have fun: "I disagree. We didn't come here to have fun. This is the time of year to work harder than you have all year. If you don't, you go home. And that's no fun."
Never pick a team nicknamed the "X-Men." That was the hard lesson learned last week by The Upset Pick. Xavier got pounded by Alabama and the record drops to 7-10. Oh,