03.28.06

Packer Plugs The Final Three (Plus One)

Posted in Basketball at 6:00 pm by

The superb recent performances of several schools that we’ll charitably call not-exactly-national-powerhouses have done little to quell CBS’s Billy Packer, writes the Chicago Tribune’s Teddy Greenstein.

Billy Packer–a.k.a. the Scourge of the Missouri Valley Conference, the Enemy of the (Wichita) State–was as feisty as ever while speaking with reporters Monday to promote CBS Sports’ coverage of the Final Four.

Again he did not back down from those who accused him of showing bias toward the major conferences.

He pointed out that in the final Associated Press poll, none of the 72 voters ranked George Mason among the Top 25 teams.

“Now I don’t see anybody clamoring for members of the AP [poll] to apologize for not giving George Mason a vote,” Packer said.

“That would be ridiculous … I find this rather stupefying that it’s: `Billy Packer made this horrendous mistake.’ I’m in the majority. There was no one in the country, no knowledgeable observer of basketball, who had George Mason playing Wichita State [in the Sweet 16]. So why would anybody apologize for that?”

Packer, though, confirmed he had seen very little, if any, Missouri Valley competition during the season.

But he said that didn’t change his view that the committee should have recognized that the power conferences had dominated the tournament in past years.

Said Packer: “You’d have to say that what the Valley did this year in the tournament should certainly give them some weight in the future.”

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