Dear NCAA: VCU is not your banner for Tourney expansion

By Chris Dertz

Virginia Commonwealth University didn’t deserve to play in the NCAA Tournament.

As a college basketball fanatic, I enjoyed the Rams’ run to the Final Four as much as anyone. But the excitement and theater of a certified Cinderella story has brought one unfortunate idiot along for the ride.

That idiot’s name would have to be spelled out using the name of every college basketball analyst in the country.

Ever since VCU beat USC in the “First Four,” everyone from the usually spot-on Gus Johnson to unflappable doofus Charles Barkley was saying the same thing: “Doubted by everyone who thought they didn’t deserve a spot, VCU is proving that they belong.”

I realize it’s too late to reverse this idiocy, but these people need a reality check on the nature of at-large tournament bids. I don’t think anybody in the country, even before their win over USC, would have debated the fact that VCU had a good basketball team.

Here’s the thing: that’s not what it’s about.

At-large bids to the NCAA Tournament aren’t based on team skill; they’re based on accomplishment during the season. And the fact remains; during the regular season, VCU didn’t accomplish enough to merit a bid, especially not over teams like Colorado and Virginia Tech.

Hearing it now seems asinine. The Rams just blitzed their way to the Final Four. But the problem is that those same Rams didn’t beat anybody of merit until the tournament.

Apparently strength of schedule and quality wins aren’t as important as the selection committee likes to have us believe.

The conspiracy theorist in me wants to believe that the committee saw a spark ready to ignite in VCU, and included them solely to have another champion for tournament expansion.

But isn’t the conflict of the whole situation what makes March Madness great? Is this debate and excitement not what we hoops junkies wait all year for?

I guess that’s the real point to this whole fiasco; whether VCU belonged in the field is irrelevant. For the love of God, NCAA; do not expand the field any further.

Jesus didn’t shave his beard for a reason: Don’t mess with perfection.