Tuesday, December 17, 2013

Boeheim Blasts North Carolina's NCAA Tournament Advantage. WRONG!!!!!!

Syracuse's Jim Boeheim has become the old coot who mouths off about "in my day" nonsense.  His Big East was better than this ACC thing.  What he did was tougher than anything anyone has ever had to do.  Etc.

He just mouthed off that Duke and North Carolina are good programs ... but they get that advantage of playing NCAA tournament regional finals in their home state.  Per Boeheim:

"We’ve had great success when we’ve stayed in the East and we’ve had great success when we’ve gone outside," Boeheim said. "We got to the Final Four from Denver one year, we got there from Boston and Albany. I mean, that’s a little easier, you’re going to have more fans.
"If you can play in your region, that’s a huge factor. One of the reasons Duke and Carolina went to the Final Four about 25 out of 30 years was because the Regional was in Greensboro or Charlotte or some place every year.They had good teams but they also had the Regional in those locations every year.
"And people say neutral court, but that’s nonsense. If you can go to the Regional in your area it’s going to help you. We got there from New Jersey, we got there from Albany, we got there from Washington, D.C.
"So it’s easier to get there if you’re in your own area, there’s no question about that. But you just gotta play well and see what happens. Control your own destiny a little bit."

It really isn't true.  Or at least I don't think it is.  So let's look back at the last 30 years to see what regions Duke and UNC came out of to get to their Final Fours.  An asterisk (*) next to the year means a season they won the National Championship (Note that in 1991, both UNC and Duke went to the Final Four.  Oddly, Charlotte was the Southeast Regional Final host.  Kansas won that region and the two North Carolina schools came out of different regions).


*2010:  Houston
2004:  Atlanta
*2001:  Philadelphia
1999:  East Rutherford, NJ
1994:  Knoxville
*1992:  Philadelphia
*1991:  Pontiac, MI
1990:  East Rutherford, NJ
1989:  East Rutherford, NJ
1988:  East Rutherford, NJ
1986:  East Rutherford, NJ


*2009:  Memphis
2008:  Charlotte 
*2005:  Syracuse
2000:  Austin
1998:  Greensboro
1997:  Syracuse
1995:  Birmingham
*1993:  East Rutherford, NJ
1991:  East Rutherford, NJ

So there you go.  In the past 30 years, Duke and UNC have made 20 appearances in the Final Four (just barely off of Boeheim's claim of "25 out of 30".  Of those 20 Regional Final championships, only two were won in the state of North Carolina.  Both were the Tar Heels and neither of those teams went on to win the National Championship.

In fact, 7 times these two won the region held in East Rutherford, NJ ... which is kind of Syracuse territory.  Two other times it was actually won on Syracuse's home court!!!

Also of note, the 1994 Final Four was held in Charlotte.  Duke made it there but lost to Arkansas in the title game.

Now, the state of North Carolina has had plenty of sub-regionals.  Whether it is Charlotte, Greensboro, Raleigh or Winston-Salem, the state gets a lot of run.  Those four cities have hosted a sub-regional 22 times in the last 30 years.  A lot?  Yeah, but North Carolina gets those sites because the draw well, in the age of pod systems the state has a very high number of schools that get into the tournament and only Charlotte's arena is being used by another basketball tenant; the other three are wide open (Raleigh's arena is used by the NHL's Hurricanes).

In those same 30 years, Buffalo, New York, East Rutherford, Albany, Uniondale and Syracuse have been a sub-regional 12 times and, along with Newark, hosted the Regional Final 19 times.  North Carolina cities have hosted the Regional Final just four times in that span.

It is funny that Boeheim is whining about that this year of all seasons.  If Syracuse keeps up the good work, they could start the NCAA tournament in Buffalo and get to the Regional Final in New York City.  Home cooking?

By the way, here are Syracuse's Final Four runs in the last 30 years.

2013:  Washington, DC
*2003:  Albany
1996:  Denver
1987:  East Rutherford, NJ

Four regional final wins with only one not being in "Big East country".  And that one season, 1996, the Final Four was held in East Rutherford, NJ.

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