AOL Fanhouse has the scoop that the Big East's double bye in the basketball tournament will stick around for another year:
"There were a variety of reasons and it was concluded that the timing wasn't right," Big East associate commissioner Dan Gavitt told FanHouse.
There was a lot of complaining, if you remember, from last season. Jim Boeheim was one of those vehemently against it:
"I think the double-bye is awful," the Hall of Fame coach said. "Conventional wisdom says the double-bye teams should fare better, but (two) of the four lost last year. If that doesn't say something, I don't know what does."The coaches and ADs took to the idea of scratching the double bye format to the Presidents, but ultimately, the idea was shot down.
Funny, but Gavitt's quote above was a complete 180 from what he said earlier:
"We tend to listen to our coaches,’’ associate commissioner Dan Gavitt said. "When they want something to change, it changes. If they think a change would be a better path going into the NCAA tournament, then I’m sure we’ll look at it.’’
I don't know. I think I subscribe to Jamie Dixon's line of thinking on this:
"A double bye had nothing to do with it," Dixon said after No. 2 seed Pitt lost in the quarterfinals for the second year in a row. "It's just a team that's playing well against another team that's playing very well."
I definitely understand where Boeheim is coming from and think there's something to what he's saying. But to me, the Big East is just a tough conference. Teams with a double bye can get caught looking ahead and you just can't do that in a tournament format when some teams are looking to make a final statement to either improve their NCAA tournament seeding or in some cases, get in at all.
Plus, when you have a double bye, more of the lesser teams are weeded out by time a top four seed might play. While I do think teams without a double bye may be in more of a rhythm, I think it's still a bonus to have to play one fewer game in the tournament.