In what would normally be a less than remarkable first official day of the tournament, Clemson and UAB will play for the chance to take on storied West Virginia University in a game of basketball. That makes tonight very exciting, or at the very least, watchable.
Both of these teams have taken their lumps coming into the tournament, both on and off the court. UAB lost it's first round game of the Conference USA Tournament to traditional hoops powerhouse East Carolina; Clemson, more respectably, whooped Boston College by 23 before falling in overtime to in-all-seriousness traditional powerhouse North Carolina.
But those defeats were just a warm-up to the firestorm that would result after the tournament selections were announced on Sunday.
No disrespect to UAB and VCU, but this is really stunning. St. Mary's, 'Bama, Va Tech and Colorado should be in first. Better teams.
Seth Greenberg, Tad Boyle, Randy Bennett and Anthony Grant should be upset. Two should have been in over UAB and VCU. Lame.
Everybody talks about the "eye test". The Committee clearly used the "closed eye test". UAB and VCU? Tough to justify that.
Clemson was largely spared from the wrath of Bilas, but the Tigers have still generally been lumped in with UAB in the clearly receiving no respect category. It will be interesting to see how both teams respond tonight.
So, the game of interest is scheduled to start at 9:10, so make yourselves comfortable in the comments of tonight's Open Thread. While you're waiting, warm up with the appetizer that is Arkansas-Little Rock vs. UNC Asheville. And, as always, snark is appreciated.
Let's get this party started.