Darrell Moody: Time for Nevada Wolf Pack to host a tourney
Hard to believe, but I never looked at my NCAA March Madness bracket I filled out until this past weekend.
Believe it or not, I picked three of the Final 4. My only miss was a big one — Virginia. Big, because I picked the Cavaliers to become the national champions. That meant five losses alone on the left side of the regional bracket.
Most of my misses were on the left side of the bracket, which is where everybody messed up. Honestly, I had Nevada beating Texas and losing in the second round to Cincinnati. OK, shoot me Wolf Pack fans.
I did pick Loyola to win its first game, but had the Ramblers losing their second-round matchup.
And, speaking of Loyola, the Pack and Ramblers will play in the MW-Missouri Valley Conference Challenge. The game is set for Nov. 28 in Chicago.
Nevada has filled about eight non-conference dates thus far. I know that Nevada is supposed to return games at Rhode Island and Davidson next season, according to athletic department personnel. Nevada will play in a tournament in Las Vegas in November.
I’d love to see the Pack host its own tournament again. The program is on the rise, and I’m sure they could attract some Power 5 schools to come to Reno.
And, while we’re on the subject of the tournament, can we get away from having Final Four games in football stadiums? It’s a big money grab by the NCAA, plain and simple. You sit in the upper areas of the Alamodome and you’re so far from the playing court, it’s ridiculous. Just because fans are willing to pay the big bucks, it doesn’t make it right.
Heck, I sat in the mezzanine level for the Loyola-Kansas State game, and I felt out of the loop because I was so high and so far away. I’m definitely spoiled getting to sit under the basket at Nevada home games, and on the floor whenever the Pack is involved in a postseason game, whether it’s a Mountain West tournament game or an NCAA game.
There are plenty of 20,000-seat arenas around the country that would make it a more intimate setting and give shooters a better backdrop.
In 2019, the NCAA West Coast sites at Salt Lake City and Seattle’s Key Arena for first and second-round games. In 2020, Sacramento’s Golden 1 Center and Spokane are first and second-round sites. In 2021, it’s Boise State and San Jose. Anaheim will host a 2019 regional and in 2020 Staples Center will be a regional site. The Chase Center, the soon-to-be home of the Golden State Warriors, will get a regional in 2022.
What irks me about the NCAA is the fact the Thomas & Mack Center at UNLV has never been selected as a first and second-round or regional site. The NCAA needs to get over itself. If the NFL and NHL can get past the gambling bugaboo, the NCAA needs to follow suit. If you don’t want to go to UNLV, then you have at least two other Las Vegas casino arena sites to look at.
Melissa Larsen is not returning to coach the Carson High girls basketball team next season, and I’m sorry to see her go.
Blair Roman said that three people have applied for the position, and that he hopes to have a decision by the end of next week.
Quite frankly, girls basketball has been on the decline for a while, and I think the blame is more on the players than on the coaches.
Kids, with the exception of a few at Carson, don’t want to work during the off-season. You have to do that nowadays. You just can’t play during the season and expect to have a lot of success. Too many players at other schools are specializing, and spending the bulk of their time playing basketball. Because of the lack of work, I find that basketball IQ is missing at Carson High. I doubt very seriously that many Carson High players even watch college basketball on TV nowadays. You would be surprised at how much you can pick up by watching a game on TV.
Carson has more than 2,000 students, and I think it’s criminal the Senators aren’t a perennial powerhouse. A lot of the problem is the attitude of players and their willingness to put the work in, and club sports like soccer and volleyball also take potential players away from basketball.