The First “First Four” Flaw

My IoT partner in crime and I are going to address the new-look NCAA Tournament later this week, but as I’m flipping between the Carolina Hurricanes-Buffalo Sabres game and the “First Four” on truTV, something occurred to me that couldn’t wait.

As I’m typing this, Clemson and UAB are just now tipping off their first-round game after dual 16 seeds UNC-Asheville and Arkansas-Little Rock had to go to overtime. This game won’t end until at least midnight. The winner has to get on a plane from Dayton couple of hours later to fly to Tampa — where they will play the first game of the entire second round at 12:15 p.m. Thursday against West Virginia.

Frankly, both these teams are lucky to even be in the Tournament. But if they’re going to be full participants in it, how exactly is fair for the NCAA to make the winning team fly more than 800 miles to play another game 36 hours later? And how much of an advantage does that give West Virginia compared to every other 5 seed? I guarantee you Vanderbilt and Kansas State would rather have drawn a tired Clemson-UAB winner than either Richmond or Utah State.

One Response to The First “First Four” Flaw

  1. […] I would have been a little more worried about them from a fatigue standpoint if they had faced Clemson’s ridiculous First Four schedule. Instead, they got the late game in their pod for the second round and had a much shorter distance […]

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