UAB, it seems, was included primarily because of their impressive (though inflated) computer numbers and a Conference USA regular season title. But any good college basketball fan knows that the RPI is not a reliable tool and can be manipulated by savvy scheduling. How can one justify rewarding UAB for its 12-4 Conference USA record and first place finish in conference play, while leaving out Alabama, who finished first in its division in the SEC with that same 12-4 mark?
The Big Ten expansion this past offseason set off another wave of panic over whether we’d seen our last classic tournament performance at Madison Square Garden. This time, it was the Big 12 that had to deal with the fallout, but in 2003, we were the ones who had to figure out how to keep the conference together after losing three members. To say that Big East basketball survived is putting it mildly. But what of those who followed the cash to the ACC?