Thank you. This is the most detailed account I've seen.
Is there a clear answer to how this virus originated?
Unfortunately, most of the takes I've heard have been from opposite sides of the spectrum of extremity, ranging from blatant racism to calculated vagueness.
This is the truth, and you're doing yeoman's work to continue and try to put out the brush fires that are the comments on this thread. In retrospect, I think my idea of a 2-3 week postponement probably isn't even logical, given our already slow response as a country to the virus. Anyone not willing to put aside a sporting event to prevent a countrywide health crisis is in a priorities tailspin that leads to a morally dubious basement.
but i think that is just totally wishful thinking
You're likely correct. I'm just grasping at a way to save what is my favorite time of year in sports. It's an admittedly vain attempt in the face of this virus, but it seemed the most logical within context.
At this point the NCAA Tournament is still scheduled to begin next week, but it's really difficult to fathom it still taking place given everything that's going on.
This now seems like an eventuality. In all honesty, a 2-3 week postponement seems rational, if possible. I'm not sure if the late start would conflict with NBA Draft prep for some players, but from everything I've read, a 2-3 week postponement of mass-attended events, combined with social limiting on a personal basis, would likely flatten the spread and essentially contain this virus to a manageable state.
My guess is the NCAA will follow suit here shortly. I'm going to be super pissed if there's no March Madness.
Prepare to be pissed, as it now seems like an eventuality. In all honesty, a 2-3 week postponement seems rational, if possible. I'm not sure if the late start would conflict with NBA prep for some players, but from everything I've read, a 2-3 week postponement of mass-attended events would likely flatten the spread and essentially contain this virus to a manageable state.
I agree with all your points, which is why I floated Forbes and Jans as enticing prospects. My original point was that Prohm's firing would seem knee-jerk within the context of some of his earlier success at ISU.
CBS has Iowa sharing a seed with Michigan, Providence and USC, which is kind of clown show. Providence lost to Northwestern, Penn, Charleston and Long Beach State.
I'll put in a word of defense for Providence, if only because Ed Cooley is my favorite coach in college basketball. Get your fill of this bio:
Cooley is one of nine kids who grew up on welfare in the low-income neighborhood of South Providence. Cooley was eventually taken in by neighbors who raised him. He is now the head coach of his hometown team.
Cooley was required to take the SATs four times before the NCAA allowed him to play college basketball. He did not score high enough on his first two attempts, scored a 900 but was accused of cheating on his third test, and finally scored a 1390 on his fourth, supervised test. Cooley was a three-year team captain at Stonehill, and was named to the Northeast-10 Conference academic honor roll. He earned a Bachelor of Science degree in history from Stonehill in 1994.
Cooley is also one of the most composed and mature coaches patrolling the sidelines in today's game. He's calm and composed with his team, never erupts at individual players, and is a fantastic teacher of the game. In his nine years at Providence, Cooley has had the Friars in the NCAA Tournament six times and currently has five 20-win seasons at Providence.
Rolling Prohm would seem like a knee-jerk move, even after his back-to-back abysmal years, but I'm sure the prospect of landing Steve Forbes is enticing. For those not familiar, Forbes is from Lone Tree, and is currently the head coach at East Tennessee State. ETSU is headed back to the NCAA Tournament, and Forbes was recently named Southern Conference Coach of the Year. In his five years at ETSU, Forbes has won at least 24 games every year. Before ETSU, Forbes was an assistant under Gregg Marshall at Wichita State, which is quickly becoming a pipeline for impressive coaches (see Chris Jans, himself an enticing candidate but with an unfortunate bar-pick-up-attempt-gone-wrong backstory).
Can't overstate--and believe me, I've tried--the importance of attaining at least a 6 seed in the NCAA Tournament. It will mark the best seed of McCaffery's Iowa tenure and remove Iowa from the dreaded position facing 7-10 seeds: playing one of the top handful of teams in the nation in the second round. Bluntly stated, a 6 seed or better gives McCaffery the best chance to finally crack the second weekend and create a watershed moment for this program under his coaching.
I, for one, am surprised Evan Boudreaux finds time away from his clients' tax preparation to play this time of year.
The Big Ten is tough, but maybe the league is a tad overrated if that team is getting the 1.
Or it's because the league is so good that it creates an anomaly scenario like Wisconsin attaining a 1 seed. That result could be attributed to the parity of the conference, with teams beating up on each other and creating logjams that lead to head-scratching outcomes.
Also, this likely warrants a larger conversation, but the fact is that Wisconsin's brand of ball wins. We're coming off a 2019 title game with two teams (T Tech & Virginia) that play a similar style. I think that brand of ball is anathema to the essence of the game, and I can't believe coaches can entice recruits with it, but I can't argue much against the results.
It shows that 2017 in D.C. ran from 03/08-03/12, which would have been on schedule with other major conference tourneys, as Selection Sunday was 03/12 that year.
I for one am ecstatic that the BTT isn't a week earlier than everybody else again. That got real old, and I think in the end hurt B1G teams being out of the national awareness for an extra week (could also just be conspiracy theory).
Didn't this happen just once, when it was at MSG in 2018?
Regarding Liberty, I'll leave it to Bill Walton from last Saturday's Pac 12 After Dark broadcast:
"Let’s talk about Liberty. If there was ever a misapplied name..."
I think the aura around Wright Thompson as a writer is often overblown, but he did write a solid piece about the combine that dives deep into the spectacle surrounding the week.
Likely worse, as this version doesn't even boast the audaciousness of the first iteration. P.J. Walker is good, but he ain't He Hate Me.
Time to use this tag line for the second time in history:
Bakari and Coke with a splash of dimes
You deserve this upvote.
To pivot slightly, for a guy who has been critical of Fran in the past, he has cemented himself in Hawkeye history to me with this season. This team, from the periphery, had no business making a tourney bid this year. McCaffery now has them as a lock. His eye for under-the-radar talent in recruiting is solid. In many ways, he’s the perfect coach for this program. More than ever, it feels like he’s building toward something. I’m all in.
Is it worse to have a program with essentially no history of success, or a program that is about to see their history of success completely decimated and forgotten?
The Iowa basketball program was at that point prior to McCaffery. Also, I like how you previously said pre-Iowa history doesn’t matter when judging Fran, but now you’re the resident historian in qualifying his position in program history. I suppose it’s convenient now?
As for the Snyder comp, I’ll take the heat, but mostly because it’s given you a fairly easy out to dismiss my other valid points about Fran’s reclamation effort at Iowa.
This is, quite frankly, fucking absurd. And it’s this sort of hyperbole that makes it nearly impossible to discuss Fran’s performance and his strengths and weaknesses.
Riiight, OK: I just called out McCaffery’s weaknesses in an above comment and numerous other times on this site. I’m not going to rehash and waste real estate.
Let’s move on to your strong objection to my Bill Snyder comment. One, I qualified by saying “nearly.” You’re the one who decided to run with it and get hyperbolic, but let’s take a brief snapshot of Fran’s predecessors:
- General aura of pretentiousness.
- Pierre Pierce rape case.
- Open flirting with Indiana while actively coaching Iowa.
- Numerous lackluster years with decent to elite talent.
- Fire-drill exit with a parting shot that he couldn’t get the support to win “at a football school.”
- No NCAA Tournament appearances
- Record low attendance
- Mind-numbing style of play
- The head coach with visibly head-in-his-hands despair on a regular basis
- The coach’s D3-talent son getting major minutes in conference games
This program was flirting with the notion that rock bottom was only the first floor. And all with a fan base that still is often lukewarm about the program. McCaffery’s turnaround is nothing short of extraordinary.
We are way, WAY, past the point that Fran should be evaluated with an eye to anything other than his own merits and performance as a coach.
OK, remove a mention of Lick (which I still think should be part of the total evaluation) from my previous comment, and we have the evaluation parameters you want: tourney appearances about every other year, fast-paced style, numerous Top 25 appearances, POTY candidate.
So, he hasn’t made a Sweet 16 and a number of people think he doesn’t land coveted recruits. Those are EXACTLY the same complaints fans had against Davis before he got canned. In Davis’ case, the complaint about the tourney was that he didn’t advance to a Sweet 16/Elite 8 often enough, but it was the same general gripe.
What McCaffery has accomplished in reinvigorating the program is nearing a Bill Snyder-level of reclamation. If he gets that cherished Sweet 16 berth, he’s probably reached that status. When people talk about McCaffery after his coaching career is finished, they will certainly mention what he inherited, the same way people talk about what Hayden and Snyder inherited at their respective football programs. It’s an integral part of McCaffery’s legacy.
If that means that Iowa should never look anywhere again just because McCaffery makes the tourney but doesn't reach the Sweet Sixteen in the next 2-3 years, then those folks have a much different world viewpoint when it comes to expectations
My comment is mostly directed at the group that seemingly wants McCaffery’s head after every blowout loss or two-game losing streak. What exactly is their expectation? McCaffery currently has a legitimate POTY candidate on a Top 25 team that is contending toward the top of the B1G. He puts this program in the tourney about every other year. It’s impossible to talk about McCaffery and not address what he inherited. It was a total rebuild job in an elite conference at a program with a fan base that had already grown apathetic. People want a Sweet 16? I do, too. I also like having a competitive program that plays a fun brand of ball. For Iowa, that wasn’t the case for many years. It’s also extremely hard for even major programs to make solid coaching hires: look at Texas and UCLA.
Didn’t Iowa already meet the 2-1 threshold you established after the Purdue game?
Those who don’t learn from history are doomed to repeat it.
The other reason people bring up Lickliter’s tenure and defend McCaffery is because they see shades of what happened to Tom Davis—and subsequently the program—when fans lost sight of context.
Not many are giving McCaffery a pass for mistakes or coaching vulnerabilities; they’re simply choosing to view his career as a whole and realize the overall feat he’s accomplished in pulling this program from what looked like certain death.