Are you confused at all as to whether or not the NCAA Tournament Committee will take Jim Boeheim's nine-game suspension into consideration when deciding whether or not to include the Syracuse Orange in the 2016 tourney?
You should be, because the way the NCAA talks about is stupid confusing.
They've said they will take Boeheim's absence into consideration since its a factor. Some people took it to mean that the nine games Mike Hopkins was in charge would be thrown out. That wasn't true but dumb people believed it. It all just sounded weird that the NCAA would make a consideration about an NCAA decision that seems to imply the NCAA is saying that the NCAA doesn't matter.
NCAA Tournament Selection Committee Chair Joe Castiglione appeared on Mike & Mike this morning and tried to clarify the position.
"We take that into consideration, just like we take into consideration the availability of players," Castiglione said. "We discuss that as a factor. We are considering it without prejudice."
"Our responsibility starts with selecting the 36 best teams. Then, along with the 32 automatic qualifiers seeding and ultimately bracketing the tournament. We're going to go forward with those evaluations without any prejudice."
"Just like with a player who makes an incredible impact on a game, we do discuss that, but we aren't going to project how the team might have done," Castiglione said. "It gives some context for why the outcome was what it was. When you think about the teams they are compared against, it allows for a more fulfilling conversation.
It's the same with other teams we're going to consider. We know their records with players, whether they were partial players or missed the game. We don't discount anything. It's all included."
The disconnect between what's going to happen and what the committee wants people to know is that, yes, they will consider the fact that Jim Boeheim was absent from nine of Syracuse's games, but they also consider outside factors that affected every other team this season. So, in effect, they are considering it AND they are not considering it.
I know that makes even less sense. But basically, in typical NCAA fashion, they've over-talked their way into a PR issue with all of this. If Syracuse makes it into the tournament, everyone will assume it's because the losses to Georgetown and St. John's were "thrown out." But there are probably a few other teams in there who had players that missed lengths of time or had other issues that affected wins and losses that will also be considered. Ultimately, Castiglione is saying that the committee looks at everything, excludes nothing, and figures it out from there. For them, Syracuse's Boeheim-less stretch is a footnote but probably not the kind of thing that puts them in over someone else on its own.
Basically, they all would have been better off saying nothing than the convoluted mess that NCAA folks have been saying for months about the issue. Sounds perfectly NCAA to me.