Tue Apr 05 04:25pm EDT
If the argument for a playoff system in college football is that it would guarantee a unanimous national champion each year, it appears even that might not be enough to eliminate every shred of season-ending controversy.
UConn won college basketball's NCAA tournament on Monday night, yet the Huskies only received 30 of 31 first place votes in the final USA Today/ESPN poll released Tuesday.
The lone dissenter was Northern Arizona coach Mike Adras, who selected Ohio State and Kansas ahead of UConn on his ballot. Asked about his controversial choices, Adras told USA Today that this wasn't a protest vote and that he simply believed the Buckeyes had a better season-long resume than UConn.
"I voted for who I thought was the best team in the country based on the entire body of work during the season," Adras said. "I believe it is Ohio State. I want to congratulate Connecticut for winning the NCAA tournament. They deserved it."
While the rules of the poll do not require coaches to vote the NCAA tournament champion No. 1, Adras is needlessly detracting from Connecticut's accomplishment by doing otherwise.
Ugly title game performance or not, Connecticut is a deserving champion because it won six straight NCAA tournament games. It doesn't matter that the Huskies weren't the best team in the nation for most of the regular season like Ohio State because a playoff isn't designed to determine that.
Ask the 2007-08 New England Patriots that suffered their first loss to the New York Giants in the Super Bowl. Or the 116-win 2001 Seattle Mariners that couldn't make it past the American League Championship Series.
Would either of those teams been voted No. 1 if a season-ending poll existed in either sport? Of course not. There's no point in even having a playoff system if the eventual winner isn't an automatic champion.
Ultimately, the only good news about Adras' vote is that it's essentially irrelevant. Polls don't matter in college basketball, and this is yet another reminder of why we can all be thankful about that.
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