As a fan still recovering from Friday’s loss, it is very bittersweet. I was thrilled to see UConn lose and excited by the underdog winning, but I also kept thinking that if we had won, and if we beat Florida, we were only a win over George Mason from the Championship Game. Those are two big ifs and a slight to a tested George Mason team, but it is just how I think.
But stewing on it longer made me feel better. You see after the game I talked to Evil A and asked if BC would ever win a basketball or football championship in our lifetime. He of course said “no.” Yet the parity of college basketball, the single-elimination style tournament and some basic statistics provide hope. Getting in to the tournament is the key. We have the most tournament wins without a Final Four appearance. As long as we keep expanding that sample size (our tournament wins), we are bound to break through one year. On most years we will revert to the mean (1 win, second round loss), yet there will always be the chance of an outlier (Final Four trip). George Mason is proof that the more games played every year, the more likely a mid-major will make the Final Four (an outlier scenario). Based on the same sample size/outlier concept you can also add in that one of these days a 1 will lose to a 16. It is simple stats, the larger the sample size you’ll get a more reinforced mean (major conference and better teams winning it all) and the greater chance for outliers (George Mason). The only difference from most statistical analysis and reality of the tourney is that with larger sample sizes, the outliers have minimal impact. In the NCAA tournament the outliers get everyone’s attention, will be analyzed to death, and remembered forever.
In other sports news, Orson from Every Day Should Be Saturday has an audio interview with ESPN.com’s Bruce Feldman. It is a worthwhile listen and touches on a lot of topics. Towards the end he gets to BC and Matt Ryan. Basically he appreciates how good we are despite flying under the radar, thinks the ACC is down and we might have a chance and references a conversation where someone asked him if Matt Ryan might be an All-American. Now we are really getting ahead of ourselves with Ryan for Heisman talk, but it is interesting that people in Bristol (I am assuming that is where Bruce is having these conversations) are kicking his name around as a potential all-conference quarterback.