bleedCrimson.net: The team found out their destination and opponent on Sunday, give me your initial thoughts on facing No. 8 Stanford?
Mike Jordan: Well, the first thing that I think that needs to be said is that I’m not happy, and it’s not just me, it’s many of the coaches in our sport who are not happy with the way that they select and seed and place teams in the tournament. When you look at what we’ve done this year, you can easily make a case that we’re every bit as good as Colorado State. Our results against common opponents are actually a little bit better and the same with Loyola Marymount, both very, very good teams. But we wind up playing Stanford in the first round because of our RPI number and because of geographically based selection choices. If you seeded this team 1 to 64 and you got rid of the RPI which was never meant to rank teams, it was only meant to group them. It’s been proven to be faulty and it’s easily manipulated by many conferences, ours is not one of them unfortunately. If you threw out the RPI you could easily make the case that we’re somewhere in the middle of the pack in this tournament. Yet, we wind up playing the 8th seeded team. That’s frustrating. All the work that we’ve done over the course of the season should be rewarded and yet in a couple of brackets you’ve got a couple of teams that barely got in who are playing each other with a chance to win an NCAA Tournament game and that frustrates me. That aside, the opportunity to play Stanford at Stanford is a great opportunity and it’s an opportunity to showcase ourselves a little bit. They’re a great team. It’ll be a great environment and those things in and of itself are a reward and I know the players are happy about the opportunity.
bc.net: Going back to the RPI and the selection process, obviously coaches know the RPI is weighted a lot heavier that what you’d like and you in particular have done what you can from a scheduling standpoint to counteract that. This is to specifically address people who might think that your low RPI number is based on you playing a weak schedule, you look at your schedule this year and you played against seven teams that are in this year’s field. You’ve done what you can.
MJ: That’s the frustrating part. This flawed system is weighted so heavily to conferences that have the ability to manipulate the RPI. Our conference, even before Hawai’i and everybody left, our conference often times hurt us. I’ve talked about this before but in 2006 at the end of the non-conference season our RPI was 16th because of what we’d done and we went 15-1 and split with Hawai’i and our RPI fell all the way down to 33. We still got in because it’s still a good RPI but we went 15-1 and split with Hawai’i and dropped almost 20 spots. It’s frustrating because once non-conference play is over we really don’t have the opportunity to improve ourselves (in RPI), we can only go down, even if we win a ton. If you have one bad night against the 120th team in the RPI like Bakersfield or Seattle who are decent teams, you drop even more. It’s a no-win situation for us right now and it’s very frustrating. But you’re right, we did everything we could. We can’t control a large portion of our schedule and that’s just the way it is. Continue Reading This Post >>