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NCAA tournament: Points to ponder

Some thoughts on this year's tournament: Every NCAA tournament needs a Holy Cross . . . . . . or some variation of a Holy Cross. This version won zero road games during the Patriot League regular season, 0-9, then won four straight road games in the Patriot League tournament. That just doesn't happen, until it happened. Welcome to March. Bill Carmody, once the Princeton coach, had some near misses trying to get Northwestern to the tournament. Here he is, coaching Holy Cross.

Holy Cross players pose with the championship trophy after defeating Lehigh 59-56 in the NCAA college basketball Patriot League Championship game at Lehigh in Bethlehem, Pa., Wednesday, March 9,
2016.
Holy Cross players pose with the championship trophy after defeating Lehigh 59-56 in the NCAA college basketball Patriot League Championship game at Lehigh in Bethlehem, Pa., Wednesday, March 9, 2016.Read more(AP Photo/Rich Schultz)

Some thoughts on this year's tournament:

Every NCAA tournament needs a Holy Cross . . .

. . . or some variation of a Holy Cross. This version won zero road games during the Patriot League regular season, 0-9, then won four straight road games in the Patriot League tournament. That just doesn't happen, until it happened. Welcome to March. Bill Carmody, once the Princeton coach, had some near misses trying to get Northwestern to the tournament. Here he is, coaching Holy Cross.

Player to enjoy as long as he lasts.

Stony Brook forward Jameel Warney scored 43 points in the America East final. He also had 22 against Vanderbilt and is a high-volume scorer with a 64 percent shooting percentage. This might sound funny, but Kentucky, beware. Warney, a Jersey kid, will at least get the Wildcats' attention.

It's a funny thing . . .

That when you win a conference tournament like the St. Joseph's Hawks just did, you move up in seeding and in their case get a No. 8 seed. The reward is a toss-up first game against a team like Cincinnati, then a potential second-round game with No. 1 Oregon. It's not unfair at all, but in many ways it's better to be seeded 11th than eighth, as far as getting to the second weekend.

Jay Bilas was wrong.

Sunday morning, Bilas had said, "Monmouth is getting in." His argument was that if that team couldn't get in with all its road wins, there's no way for a low major to get an at-large. But wins over UCLA and Georgetown lost their luster as those powers faded this season, and an upset of Notre Dame and split with USC weren't enough. And a few losses to teams with over 200 in the RPI no doubt swayed the committee.

But here's a prediction.

Monmouth's bench mob will get more March Madness air time than most sixth seeds.

A thought on Villanova's not getting to play in Philly.

It's fair. Would 'Nova fans want to play in Raleigh, N.C., as a No. 1 seed if North Carolina was the second seed? It was surprising, and harsh, that Villanova ended up in the same region with overall top seed Kansas. Under an S curve, that puts the Wildcats as No. 8 overall. Really harsh.

You like offensive efficiency?

So do I. Here are your top 10 Ken Pomeroy offenses. Do what you want with them: Kentucky, Michigan State, Iowa State, North Carolina, Oregon, Duke, Indiana, Kansas, Virginia, Notre Dame.

Oh, you prefer defensive teams.

Take Wichita State over Vanderbilt in the play-in game. Then you look at teams such as Virginia, West Virginia, and Kansas. Don't sell Villanova. And Pomeroy has Cincinnati as the eighth most efficient defense in the country.

So which team is coached by a Swarthmore College graduate?

That's the Hawaii Rainbows. Eran Ganot graduated from Swarthmore in 2003 and was a two-year captain.

There was big applause in the St. Joseph's room . . .

. . . When Temple was announced as being in the field. Despite what Charles Barkley said on the selection show, the Big Five isn't dead.

mjensen@phillynews.com

@jensenoffcampus

PROS AND CONS

You like future pros?

I remember somebody emailing me in 2003 that Dwyane Wade was going to be drafted so high (as projections had it) only because Marquette went to the Final Four. Interesting, just exactly backward, as Wade's NBA career proved. Marquette did lose to Kansas in that Final Four, but that's because the Jayhawks had more pros.

So this time, who has the future pros?

Let's refine that: Who has experienced future pros? Think Providence (Dunn), Oklahoma (Hield), Notre Dame (Jackson), and Michigan State (Valentine). Those guys aren't Wade but could be good for a W or two.

LUCKY 'HAWKS

If only Holy Family were in the Division I tournament instead of being D-II . . . You see the transitive property is never wrong. Holy Family beat Philadelphia University to win its conference title, and Philly U. beat La Salle in an exhibition game, and La Salle beat Dayton and Dayton beat Vanderbilt and Vanderbilt beat Kentucky and Kentucky beat Duke and Duke beat Virginia Tech and Virginia Tech beat Virginia and Virginia beat West Virginia and West Virginia beat Kansas.

So although the Jayhawks may be the top overall seed, clearly Kansas gets lucky it doesn't have to face Holy Family.

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