Instead of showing some humility after a slightly disappointing regular season, Mike Krzyzewski decided that the best way for him to help his team out heading into the NCAA tournament is by taking shots at the Atlantic 10 for getting six teams into the tournament, just as much as the ACC.
Coach K said that he feels that North Carolina State deserved more than a first four berth, and it should have come at the expense of one of the A-10 teams, sending St. Joseph’s, Dayton, George Washington, Saint Louis, UMass, VCU with the last five coming as at-large bids. UMass, playing either Iowa or Tennessee in the round of 64 to open the tournament might meet with Duke in the round of 32, if the Blue Devils do as expected and beat Mercer.
The ACC might be a much bigger name than the A-10, but hasn’t shown much this season to prove its fame. Bringing in more teams hasn’t really helped the quality of competition, although at some point the additions of Louisville, Syracuse and Pittsburgh should make it a stronger conference, or at least that’s the plan, aside from the money angle.
It’s fine for head coaches to do some propaganda work in favor of their own conference, but doing it at the expense of another conference? It’s weird to think Krzyzewski has the time to look and pay attention to so many conferences while he’s leading his team through the difficult, yet slightly overrated ACC, just like his team is good, but probably not as good as an overall #9 ranking by the selection committee, meaning a #3 regional seeding.
Duke didn’t play a single non-conference road game this season, something most major conference teams and especially ACC teams try to avoid. The six A-10 teams that made it into the tournament went 8-2 against ACC opponents with all the games neutral or at ACC courts.
For a head coach of a team that just lost to Virginia in the ACC championship game; of a team that does have plenty of talent in Hood and Jabari Parker but has a huge problem playing against big teams, which means rebounding and defending the interior, it might be a bit much, despite everything he’s done in college and international basketball over the years, to start complaining and pointing fingers about who deserves to be in the tournament and who doesn’t. Duke are only ranked and seeded this high because of their name, not their actual ability on the basketball court throughout this season.