Commentary

NCAA committee faces difficult decision

Updated: March 11, 2011, 5:14 PM ET
By Dick Vitale | ESPN.com

The NCAA tournament selection committee is going to have a difficult time on Selection Sunday. Expanding the field to 68 teams was supposed to make things easier, as teams that cried about failing to make the cut last year would be celebrating, baby!

This season, there are very few good teams battling for the last few spots. My ESPN compatriot Jay Bilas said that this year's bubble is very weak, and I couldn't agree more.

The big question is, what will the committee be looking for when it comes down to those last few teams?

For example, a school like Harvard, should it lose to Princeton in the Ivy League playoff on Saturday, is a legit bubble team. Tommy Amaker's team beat Colorado (likely in), Boston College (on the bubble) and Boston University (playing for a bid out of the America East).

Then take a look at the Eagles. This is a school which lost to Harvard, Yale and Rhode Island but has a few quality wins in the ACC and a W over Texas A&M to increase its stock.

Meanwhile, Georgia will be a tough decision. The Bulldogs played a very tough schedule against some top teams, but the loss to Alabama in the SEC tournament may have hurt them.

The problem is, there are so many teams with similar résumés. The committee will not have an easy job and you know a few schools will be unhappy.

Some of the schools, like UAB, Colorado State and Nebraska, can only blame themselves if they do not get in. Early losses in their conference tournaments could prove costly.

Another interesting trend in the college hoops conference tourneys is the difficulty top-seeded teams are having with the lower-seeded clubs. These teams are playing with a sense of urgency and have really given a lot of No. 1 seeds a hard time. Oklahoma State almost knocked off Kansas in the Big 12 and Ohio State was taken into overtime by Northwestern in the Big Ten.

Then you look at North Carolina, which had to rally from a 19-point deficit to edge Miami on a last-second basket by Tyler Zeller. Roy Williams was not a happy camper as he pulled all five of his starters and put in a team of walk-ons. The Tar Heels eventually responded and used the trifecta to get to the winner's circle. Give Miami credit, for it played a great game and really rattled North Carolina with its zone.

My friends, this is a great time to be a college basketball fan. It will be tough decision for the NCAA selection committee, but I cannot wait to see how it all comes out on Selection Sunday, baby!

Dick Vitale

College Basketball analyst
Dick Vitale, college basketball's top analyst and ambassador, joined ESPN during the 1979-80 season. His thorough knowledge of the game is brought forth in an enthusiastic, passionate style. Vitale also contributes columns to ESPN.com.