â†µâ‡¥ "I'm not for the double bye," Pitino said. "It doesn't keep you sharp enough. I think they [a lot of other coaches] think that also. It could change. I would like it to change." â†µâ†µ
â†µWhen you've got a number that works out to an easy bracket like the Big East, doing a tournament seeded one-to-16 makes sense, but playing eight games in one day is impossible, so you're left with one team playing Tuesday and another on Wednesday. Still, it's better than trying to make a team win five games if you ask me. â†µâ†µ
â†µBut is all of this crying for nothing? In 2008, two of the top four seeds lost with the double bye. Without the double bye in the previous three seasons (2005-07), three of the top four seeds lost twice in their first games, but none of them lost in 2007. In the days of two divisions, the top seeds losing was even less frequent. â†µâ†µ
â†µThe knee-jerk reaction in early March was that the double bye was somehow disadvantageous and it caused upsets. That was aided, in part, by the fact that the Big East was viewed as such a behemoth last season. Of course, looking back at how the team performed in the tournament, seeing some of those top teams lose early makes sense. Just two teams from the Big East made the Sweet 16. One of those two went on to make the Final Four. That team was West Virginia, which actually won the Big East Tournament. So maybe the double bye wasn't the problem after all. â†µâ†µ
This post originally appeared on the Sporting Blog. For more, see The Sporting Blog Archives.