As reported earlier today on the DBD, the NCAA has taken steps to protect the integrity of the NCAA tournament. Watch for updates later on the fate of our California Golden Bears. As of now, our first round game vs. Louisville is still on.
SAN JOSE — In a decision reached in consultation with CBS Sports and other sports media figures from around the country, the NCAA announced today that Washington’s 80-78 victory over Marquette Thursday in the first round of the NCAA tournament will be rescinded. Marquette will be declared the winner and advance to the second round to face New Mexico on Saturday in San Jose.
"We had to do this to preserve the integrity of the competition," said an NCAA official on condition of anonymity. "Everyone knows the Pac-10 just isn’t any good and the Big East is probably the best conference in the history of college basketball. Washington beating Marquette had to be a fluke.
"And with New Mexico sitting there in the second round, we just couldn’t take the chance that Washington would make it the Sweet 16."
People at CBS Sports asked the NCAA to make this unprecedented move, citing the ill effect that Washington’s advancement would have on the credibility of its analysts.
"None of us saw that coming," said Seth Davis, a studio analyst for CBS Sports’ coverage of the NCAA tournament. "I mean, a Pac-10 team beating a Big East team? There are many things we can tolerate in this tournament, but that’s just a little much."
Another Pac-10/Big East matchup looms tonight, as California is scheduled to play Louisville in a first round game in Jacksonville, Fla. CBS Sports has already suggested to the NCAA that the game be canceled and Louisville advanced to play presumptive first round winner Duke in the second round.
"Look, I didn’t even think Cal should be in the tournament," said Davis. "Yes, Cal was the regular season champion of the Pac-10, but the league was absolutely horrible. Nothing good can come out of having them play Louisville. I mean, could you imagine if Cal won the game? It would show that the Pac-10 might have been better than we gave it credit for. And what good could come of that?"
The NCAA is expected to make a decision on the outcome of tonight’s Cal/Louisville game this afternoon. Options include allowing the game to go forward, but declaring Louisville the winner regardless of the final score. Another option is to assign the officiating crew from Thursday’s Robert Morris/Villanova game to do the Cal/Louisville game, with instructions to give Cal the same treatment as the crew gave to Robert Morris.
"We might implement a new policy next year," said the NCAA official. "We’re looking at a ‘Pac-10 sucks’ rule that would enable us to take away Pac-10 victories in the tournament at our discretion, except in the case of Ucla."