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yoco :: College Basketball
(a sports weblog) news and commentary on men's college basketball and the ncaa tournament

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Tuesday, October 26, 2004

The Daily Howler

With but a year of Pac-10 coaching experience under his belt, Ben Howland is already speaking his mind.

Howland is in favor of reducing the number of conference games from 18 to 16, which he said would improve the chances of more conference teams being selected to the NCAA tournament.

"I have been a proponent of 16 league games and maybe have a couple more non-conference games," Howland said. "There is a mathematical formula that goes into who makes the tournament, and it doesn't help to beat up on each other."

Maybe, but I doubt two additional games against Washington State and Arizona State, for example, annually cost the Bruins (or any other conference squad) an NCAA bid. Rather, the Pac-10's size enables it to operate under the best scheme possible, the double round robin system that ensures schedule parity and develops conference rivalries.

There is indeed a mathematical formula that goes into who makes the tournament. But as Howland’s scheduling at the University of Pittsburgh suggested and his recent comments affirm, even if Ben knows a formula exists, he understands precious little about its makeup.