Thursday, March 31, 2011

Charlotte's Bilas to irritate VCU -- again

I had a 30-minute phone conversation with Jay Bilas late Wednesday. A Charlotte resident since 1993, Bilas had just arrived in Houston and was getting ready to cover the Final Four for ESPN.

Bilas has been getting a lot of heat lately -- most of it good-natured -- from everyone associated with Virginia Commonwealth because he railed against VCU's selection into the NCAA tournament field so strongly on Selection Sunday. VCU coach Shaka Smart wondered aloud after one Rams' NCAA tourney win if Bilas had watched the game. Bilas has tweeted that crow actually tastes a lot like eating chicken (although he still firmly believes VCU should have never made the field).

VCU, of course, is in the Final Four, where it will face Butler. UConn and Kentucky will play in the other, far more traditional semifinal. (My column on why I really hope Butler or VCU wins the whole thing can be found here).

I'll be writing a column later this week on Bilas, whose combination of thoughtfulness and humor makes him the best studio analyst in college basketball. But I went ahead and got his picks for the Final Four, and here they are. Again, VCU fans will be irritated.

Bilas's picks:

Semifinal 1: Butler over VCU. Bilas said while VCU has played better to this point, Butler is an expert at slowing the game down and will "squeak one out."

Semifinal 2: UConn over Kentucky.

Final: UConn over Butler.

Much more from Bilas to come later this week, but he says of this Final Four: "If you played it four different times, you really could have four different champions. There just is not a single great team in college basketball this season, which is going to make this one a blast."

28 comments:

Anonymous said...

Jay Bilas is a first class idiot. He's just another talking head. If he hadn't gone to Duke he would be a nobody. I'm glad I can form my own opinions and don't listen to this guy.

S G said...

Jay, don't become Billy Packer! You are getting close. Fight the dark side and come back to us.

Anonymous said...

While Jay still has to fight off his personal feelings and need to protect and promote Duke and Coach K, he is usually pretty fair in his comments. After all that VCU has done in this tournament, I'm not sure they are not any less of a favorite than any of the other three teams in the Final Four. If they can beat Kansas, they can surely beat these three teams.

Anonymous said...

Bilas was absolutely right. So they went on a tournament run...great. Alabama was a bubble team and is now in the NIT Championship. Who's to say they couldn't have made the Final Four too if given the opportunity?

Have the people hating on Bilas actually gone back and looked at VCU's resume lately?

Anonymous said...

I mean seriously... VCU had lost 11 total games, and 6 in the CAA. Virginia Tech lost 11 total and 7 in the ACC. Not to mention VCU was 3-5 in their last 8 games before the tourney.

It was never if VCU could win games in the tournament, it was always did they deserve to be there in the first place. The answer before the tournament and still is Yes.

Bilas is right, this year the quality of basketball has been very subpar compared to other years. Any team, on any night can win. VCU has been a great story and I have enjoyed their run. But we should not be crucifying analysts for giving their qualified opinions on something that was so blatantly wrong.

AND on that note... people always wonder why so much time is spent on the debate over bubble teams... Well VCU is reason enough.

Anonymous said...

Skeem is good but overall VCU has that ragged fresh outa the hood look and the coach looks like he just got out of the pen. Wasnt VCU where chief Rodney Monroe got his non-degree from?

Anonymous said...

hell, Shaka Smart didn't even think they should or could make it. He didn't even gather his team to watch the selection show.

Anonymous said...

So Shaka Smart looks like he just got out of the pen, huh? Exactly what about him looks like that (other than the color of his skin)? The shirt and tie? The degree from a top notch academic institution in Kenyon College (after being accepted to both Harvard and Yale)? The guy is probably one of the most intelligent coaches in the game, and he does nothing other than represent himself with class and dignity.

Anonymous said...

how can anyone say jay doe not know his stuff? he is fair and says what he thinks. does that mean he is always right? of course not..who is? dickie v? digger? hubert?

Anonymous said...

so what if VCU has gone on a run? does the fact that louisville lost on opening day mean they were a bad pick? how close did Princeton come to beating UK? you have to base the invites on what they have done so far...not on a miracle run they may have in them

Anonymous said...

"Shaka Smart didn't even think they should or could make it. He didn't even gather his team to watch the selection show"

THAT IS A VERY GOOD POINT

Anonymous said...

March 31, 2011 1:00 PM

Idiot mofo.

Color of his skin? What does that mean you retard? Hes a white guy. You got a prob with that? U gay?

Kenyon College? Where is that? Matchbook college? yea rite... Skipped Yale or Harvard? Sure he did. What a joke.

VCU is punk. Butler is the end of the road for thugville.

Anonymous said...

11:46 your statement shows how dated and out of touch you are with reality. You are either living in the past, bitter, or insecure.

I'm not yet sure he is the one I would put over my program, but he is definately one I would consider. It is obvious that he has a high IQ, has tenacity, and can make great decisions when under pressure.

Because he is suppose to be a role model for young men I would like for him to reconsider his dress code. But that is the world we live in. I think it could cost him in the board room or when promoting a school in business community.

I do like him but I'm just an average Joe and a coach represents more than 12 teenagers bouncing a basketball

Anonymous said...

most are in their mid early 20s not teens.

bilas is right. losing 11 games was a deal breaker.

that bubble will pop.

Anonymous said...

"Bilas, whose combination of thoughtfulness and humor makes him the best studio analyst in college basketball"

Yeah right! My parakeet is a better analyst than Bilas. If you're doing an article on Bilas, good material must be hard to come by.

Anonymous said...

Classic judging of people not bly their character. The problem with the Bilas comments is not his opinion, but how he delivered it. It's great the Jay felt the way he did about VCU, that's why ESPN hired him. However, the way he went about it was a little out of line. He ranted about it and was almost angry for the whole selection show and the week leading up to the tourney. Why not focus on the teams that didn't make it and why they should've instead of why VCU should not have. And now he continues to defend it instead of saying, it could've gone either way (VCU did beat 6 NCAA tourney teams) and maybe the selection committee rolled the dice and won. It's the arrogance that rubs people the wrong way. Hey Jay, it's okay to miss one every now and then...you seem to think the NCAA did.

Anonymous said...

The NCAA did miss it! WHen they put 11 Big East and Big 10 teams in the field instead of Wichita St.

Those decisions were all about the money. 50% of the people in the USA live between Washington DC & Boston (Big East Country). And the Big 10 is in states with large populations. People represent TV sets and ratings!

More rural Virgina Techs will be left out in the future in favor of TV sets.

tami said...

Bilas is a first class ass

Atlanta Roofing said...

It’s been an incredible NCAA Men’s Basketball Tournament this season, and the Final Four should be no exception. When you look at this year’s remaining teams, there are two teams that very few had advancing to this stage.

paul said...

It's what's great about college roundball. On any given day anyone can beat anyone. Sure, nobody thought VCU would make it in the tourney, except for the folks sending out the invitations to the party. But, so what? America loves its Cinderellas.

Anonymous said...

America loves it Cinderellas?

VCU and Butler are girlyboy faggot teams?

Anonymous said...

Bilas is a first-class pro. As a Duke alum, I'm stunned he can remain so objective and unbiased. Take notes, Hubert.

Rudy James said...

VCU is not a bunch of thugs, I can't believe that comment! I am from Richmond and have been proudly wearing my VCU basketball hat around Charlotte for the past 2 years and it's nice that people actually know who they are now outside of Richmond and the CAA. VCU has built a qualiy mid-major program over the past several years and their success elevated Capel to Oklahoma wear he took Blake Griffin to the great 8. And the past 2 coaches, Grant (now at Bama) and Smart are Billy Donovan's protoges. VCU is a lot like UNCC in that it's a pretty large commuter school w/about 30K students, a great liberal arts school and has several top grad school programs including the top advertising school in the US, VCU Brandcenter, the Medical College of Virginia (MCV) and the Massey Cancer Research Center. I'm actually a UVA graduate and it's good to have a successful basketball program from my home state to pull for! Go Rams!

Anonymous said...

Skeem is the whole team and way good to be at VCU. Who is VCU? A ZERO? What kind of tradition do they have? Hard to believe he is not in the premier ACC or even lesser SEC/Big 10. Stupidity.
Didnt Virginia bitch and whine when their Ronald Curry left the state and went to UNC.
Heels wish he would have had stayed in Virginia. He was a pathetic QB and couldnt play basketball.

Anonymous said...

GO BUTLER

UCONN SUX

Anonymous said...

Bilas is a choirboy compared to Soreheadsen whose suck analogies wrong picks has singlehandedly destroyed local pro sports past 20 yrs after fired by the Minneapolis Star sports dept and run out of town. Whatever TS says always do the opposite. Minneapolis will vouch for that. He ruined all their teams too.
At least he is consistent.

Anonymous said...

KY couldnt buy a 3 pter against UConn.

xl pharmacy said...

Bilas sometimes is a lier and a real asshole and I'm not sure if I can trust him... He is kind of person you don't wanna meet, honestly that's exactly what I think about Bilas.