Sports

Picking Splinters: Q&A

For the past, oh, 70 weeks since I proposed to my fiancé, we’ve been faced with questions like “What are your wedding colors going be?” (A: What are wedding colors?), “What brand of steamer do you want to put on your registry” (A: Why do we need a steamer?) and “What kind of roses do you want for your arrangements?” (A: Pete?). But as of last Saturday, knots were tied, and those questions were answered (Vendela roses). So now I can turn my attention back to the questions that really matter: those submitted to the magical mail bag.

For the past, oh, 70 weeks since I proposed to my fiancé, we’ve been faced with questions like “What are your wedding colors going be?” (A: What are wedding colors?), “What brand of steamer do you want to put on your registry” (A: Why do we need a steamer?) and “What kind of roses do you want for your arrangements?” (A: Pete?). But as of last Saturday, knots were tied, and those questions were answered (Vendela roses). So now I can turn my attention back to the questions that really matter: those submitted to the magical mail bag.

Mike,

So the 96-team NCAA tournament is deep-sixed for now. What’s your take on 68? Did the NCAA actually get it right this time?

Joe L.

Bracketville

Joe, I’m not a huge fan of 68-teams, but it’s a far better alternative than the 96-team debacle that most assumed was a certainty. Nothing about the 96-team model made any sort of sense except as a shameless money grab.

Class time would be compromised. The integrity of the national championship would be questioned and the regular season would be rendered worthless. How can you allow teams barely over .500 to contend for a national title?

Worse yet, teams would craft their schedules to take advantage of weak opponents just to guarantee a spot in the dance. With 68 teams, they haven’t watered down the field too badly. Most likely, the additional three teams to earn bids will come from the final three teams out of the at-large field. Now, rather than relying on the tournament selection committee to decide which are tourney-worthy, they can settle things on the court. From there, most likely, it will be the same NCAA tournament we all know and love.

However, I’m not sure if the NCAA will halt expansion at 68 teams. There are provisions in the TV deal the NCAA signed with CBS and Turner that would allow the field to expand to 96 teams in the future.

There’s too much money to be made for this issue not to crop up again. However, I don’t accept the fatalistic attitude of some of my colleagues in the media. Just because it will generate more revenue for the NCAA doesn’t mean it’s a good idea. Nor does that make it a done deal. And if the idea comes up again, the media should roundly criticize it again – and so on until it goes away.

Michael,

Your boy Greg Monroe is NBA draft bound. What does this mean for the Hoyas next season?

Craig E.

Unknown location

What it means is that if Julian Vaughn and Henry Sims are in a room that isn’t a classroom or a gym right now, they’re in the wrong place. Those two guys are going to need to step in and hold down a front line that looks to be the only thing separating a talented Georgetown team from a shot at the Final Four in 2011. I’d also look for sophomore Hollis Thompson to take on a bigger role next season. He emerged late in the year and his height and range will make him a tough matchup defensively. On the interior, though, everyone will need to hit the boards harder.

Hume-anity,

So, Jason Campbell got dealt to the Oakland Raiders. Do you see him blossoming in the Bay Area?

Al D.

Bayside

Here’s the thing with Jason Campbell: In D.C., I felt he never had an opportunity to succeed because he had just one legitimate receiving threat, an offensive line that couldn’t stop a trio of on-rushing shih-tzus and had to memorize more playbooks than a Shakespearean actor.

I often suggested that if you got Campbell out of that situation he could be a solid NFL quarterback. So, he’s Oakland bound. Here’s the problem: Oakland didn’t have a single wide receiver record over 600 yards, its line gave up even more sacks than Washington’s (49 to 46) and Campbell is again going to have to learn a new playbook.

His situation gives him a better opportunity than in D.C., where he’d only see snaps if newly acquired QB Donovan McNabb went down with an injury. However, few QBs have dressed for success in Silver and Black lately. Best of luck, Jason.