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Jay Bilas: VCU’s Tournament Run “Does Not Make My Argument Wrong”


Jay Bilas knows what he said about VCU on Selection Sunday. He also knows you’re enjoying talking trash about him now that the Rams are playing out of their minds…but even in light of what VCU’s accomplished, and no matter what they d the rest of the way, don’t expect him to back away from those initial comments.

Speaking to Newsday’s Neil Best, in fact, Bilas said actual tournament performance is irrelevant to his original point:

“Those arguments for selection are Selection Sunday-only arguments. They have nothing to do with performance. I’ll put it this way: The fact that VCU has played extraordinarily well and won does not make my argument wrong. Similarly, the fact that UAB lost and did not play well does not make my argument against them right.”

And Bilas is also mighty disappointed in you, inattentive fan talking trash:

“If one actually listened intently to what was said on Selection Sunday, the argument was basically that Colorado or Virginia Tech was worthy of getting in first, not that any one team didn’t belong at all.”

We’ve got no qualms with Bilas ourselves, but a scolding tone like that doesn’t make it difficult to see why one might criticize him for “tak[ing] himself and his opinions far too seriously,” as former coach and announcer Tom Penders recently did. And to Bilas’ credit, he told Best that the criticism he’s received “doesn’t bother [him] a bit” – which, for the record, is exactly the same way he responded to Penders’ shots.

So yes, it appears Bilas can take it – and he probably knew he’d be getting some grief as soon as VCU started demolishing opponents. If they beat Florida State tonight, he’ll hear more. Consider it the trade-off for getting a high-profile outlet to voice your opinions. We’d take that deal.

Photo via


  • Trey Mcglohn

    It’s not the fact that VCU is winning that makes Bilas wrong. It’s the fact that he knew nothing about VCU on Selection Sunday and didn’t realize that VCU was as good or better than VT in every relevant statistical category that makes him wrong.

  • Bill

    It wasn’t just that he was wrong, it was that he attacked a team and players from his bully-pulpit, when they had no means of defending themselves.
    He didn’t try to argue FOR Virginia Tech or Colorado, he argued AGAINST (with no real facts to back him up) VCU. His negativity was off the charts and had to make people wonder about his own personal agenda.
    He is entitled to an opinion. He is NOT entitled to attack a person/program just because he is in a position of power. He abused that position on Selection Sunday.

  • Wmiller96

    He also called George Mason the “Colonials.” The Colonial is their conference, arrogant jerk.

  • Drcwphd2000

    Bill and Trey’s comments are spot on, and apparently Jay just doesn’t “get it.” Personally, I think Bilas is a blow-hard, know-it-all, who when proven wrong, can’t admit his mistakes. Owning up to a mistake is a sign of an adult mentality…continuing to defend his very poor performance would be cause for dismissal in my opinion. And honestly, I don’t think any of us would miss him one iota.

  • SuperMid-Major Watcher

    Bilas still doesn’t get it. He knew NOTHING about Virginia Commonwealth’s record, their top wins, or rpi. Had he bothered doing his homework prior to the selection Sunday show, he would have known that VCU was FAR more deserving than VPI & SU.

    He is simply cut from the same cloth as Billy Packer, believing that the NCAA Basketball Tournament is meant for the old, established basketball powers when in fact it is an opportunity for every D-1 school in the nation with a worthy record to be the best that they can be. VPI wasn’t worthy enough, again, this season while VCU is.

  • Ed

    So Bilas ….just how far do they have to go until you can admit you and
    your analysis, and your argument, were wrong? Show some humility, buddy.
    Ed

  • Anonymous

    vipshopper.us

  • Asilver07

    Blow hard? Know it all? Jay Bilas? I have only one question for everyone who has commented. Why are you being so kind to him? He’s an arrogant ass. And this from a die hard Duke fan…

    Oh, and lest we forget, he was not alone in his scathing commentary on Selection Sunday. The lovely and talented Dick Vitale basically said his wife, who knows nothing about basketball, could have done a better job picking the teams. Here in Richmond we have a huge banner of Dickie V eating crow. My only regret is we don’t have one of Jay showing where his head really is – up his ass.

  • ramnation
  • Fcpkid

    Jay Bilas has entered himself into the annals of tourney history for making an epically inaccurate and feeble-minded argument. Rarely do we get the opportunity for someone to so emphatically take a position and to throw all of their chips in, and then to see them proven wrong – over and over again.

    The likes of Jay Bilas, Dick Vitale, Billy Packer, and Jim Nance will never get it – mid-majors aren’t community colleges for the handicapped. These are real live kids, with arms, legs, and talent who play in Division 1 programs. Their leagues are highly competitive and some of the schools represent geographical areas with a high concentration of basketball talent to pluck their recruits from. And this says nothing of the hunger one of these non-elite schools have to win in the tourney, because it might be 10 years until they get to dance again.

    Hey Bilas, that Virginia Tech 2nd round NIT loss must have been a pretty good reinforcement of your point, especially with VCU in the Elite Eight, and going further than Duke.

    What a hack-clown blowhard!

  • http://twitter.com/xxxoduxxx odu

    LoL. What Jay Billy-ass doesn’t know is that any team from the top 8 of CAA can beat any team in the Nation. It’s just due to the bottom 4 or 5 teams that has been keeping the conference down. Even if we win these bottom feeders ,our RPI increases. If CAA had only 10 members like the PAC-10, our conference rank would be ranked between 5 to 7. These are the things that guys like Jay Billy-ass doesn’t know about. CAA has been tougher than what the RPI shows.
    20 Old Dominion
    24 George Mason
    49 VA Commonwealth
    74 Drexel
    86 Hofstra
    88 James Madison
    140 Delaware
    178 Northeastern
    218 N.C. Wilmington
    223 Georgia St.

  • T Rex

    Jay Bilas, yes Jay Bilas is the same guy who grabbed Ralph Sampsons tool bag twice in one game.
    You stay classy Jay!

  • ggg

    Bilas and the so-called experts should be ignored. He was wrong and he is too conceited to admit it. FU Bilas.

  • Nedfrend

    The issue is Mr. Bilas’s arrogant comment “do they know the basketball is round”. VCU has obviously proved the point that they most definitely deserved in the tournament. ESPN is way too biased in favor of the big 6 conferences. Mid Majors do not get the respect they deserve. This year we have two mid major teams in the final four. Teams such as Wichita State (semi finalist in the NIT) that had non conference losses to two final four teams and San Diego State did not even get a mention.

    Mr Bilas needs to get informed about the quality of basketball in Mid Majors….

    YES the MID MAJORS play with round balls too. Get a clue – end the arrogance.

  • Dogman

    of course VCU in the final 4 doesn’t prove him wrong- he’s a lawyer

  • Felix2012

    Jay bilas is 100% correct…. VCU did not have the record… the schedule or the performances to make it in the tourny…. colorado and virginia tech did….. PERIOD

    it doesnt matter how they did in the tourny it matters how they did in the season to decide whether they should be in the tourny…..

    in most competetive sports there is a point system or wins to decide whether a team should be in the playoffs….. just because someone could win in those playoffs, but didnt have the record to make it doesnt meant that they should have been in

  • Caifans

    I just think it suck the whole point system. just because you don’t play the so called good teams doesn’t mean you’re not good. You can only beat who they put in front of you. I’m glad the big east got their ass kicked this year. 11 teams that’s way to much. An almost 500 team made that’s a shame, I don’t care who they played.

  • Sally

    Ummm VA Techs record was in no way better then VCUs. Plea
    se tell me the numbers you are looking at to make such an argument????? My bet, you can’t-just like the ESPN pundits couldn’t. Just repeating over and over again that Tech deserved it more doesn’t make it true,but I guess it makes brainwashed people like you believe it.

  • Mike

    You could easily make a good argument that USC and Penn State should not have been in the tournament with 14 losses apiece, but I never once heard Jay Bilas or any other ESPN ‘expert’ make that argument. I think that a good rule would be that team with 14 or more losses should NEVER receive an at-large bid to the NCAA tournament, but it would never pass because if one their ‘beloved’ major conference teams (i.e. Duke, UNC, Kansas) has 14 or 15 losses that have to keep the door open for them to possibly get in over a smaller school. Because as Jay Bilas’ ESPN partner Doug Gottlieb recently said “people watch the NCAA tournament for the named teams.” No Doug, I actually watch for good basketball no matter who the team is.

  • Fcpkid

    Bilas, Doug Gottlieb, and Felix2012 (from above) are all choads! They have anti-competitive philosophies. Aside from a win over Duke, Tech didn’t play consistently and at times sucked really bad! VCUs trip to the Final Four and Tech’s loss to Wichita State in the NIT prove that the selection committee knew what they were doing…PERIOD. May the best team win, and get selected to the tourney. It may never be that way though because the schools from the big conferences constantly avoid playing schools from smaller conferences. They’re afraid of losing and jeopardizing their chance at receiving a BS at-large bid to the tourney. The NCAA tournament is bloated with underperforming teams from big conferences and that needs to end. This tourney should be proof in point.

  • Tom Sikora

    I played against Joey Rodriguez in a bunch of games in Georgia in ’09 and ’10. My little brother plays at Louisiana-Monroe (of which Jay Bilas could not name a single player, let alone the conference) and they played on a lot of the same leagues as Joey in Florida growing up. I was a really hard worker as a player myself, though I was only at an NAIA school, and carry a chip on my shoulder like any other 5′ 9″ white kid with moderate game that never got a real offer from anywhere.

    I am only saying this to state that I consider myself knowledgeable about a lot of un-hyped players and the culture that exists at the mid-major level. In any regard, I was the fastest player on my team on a great Catholic high school squad, the fastest player on my team at the JUCO I went to, and the fastest player on my team at the NAIA level, which is not nearly as insignificant as you would imagine. The point? I couldn’t hang with Joey Rodriguez in a million years, not in speed, not in handle, and certainly not in heart.

    I’m a trash talker. The king of it. If you had a recently deceased family member, I would bring it up. If your girlfriend died in a DUI, I would bring it up. If your little brother had down syndrome, I would talk like Corky to you for the entire game until you spit on me and your Dad threatened to kill my Father. I got punched in the face in games before to get kids thrown out. That’s the kind of terrible, deviant sportsman I am. So even in a summer pick up game I talk shit. Joey just laughed at everything I said. Racial slurs, jokes about his husky girlfriend, “your girl’s in the Iditarod, right? Oh, they don’t have the Iditarod in Guatemala, do they?” He wouldn’t take offense, he never got mad, HE LAUGHED, genuinely laughed, didn’t say ANYTHING but game, cross, back, cross, slash, Euro step, layup. And he bought me lunch after because I locked my keys in my ride and had to wait for the pop a lock dude to come. I may be a monster, but I recognize good guys.

    But I also recognize ability. And no one has what this VCU team has. They have four shooters in their starting rotation. All speed. Great passers. Great vision. It’s 2011. All the best bigs are children. All they can do is rebound and dunk inside. Rebounding only matters in the Big 10 and Big East. None of the teams in the tournament EVER play a true full floor pressure. If you outrebound them by 25 but they have +8 in steals and you have 23 tournovers to their 4, what difference does Jared Sullinger or Markeeeeef Morris make?

    When Monday comes, the country will realize we’ve been duped for years.

    Everyone should demand better. No one should have to watch Indiana play North Carolina State in the ACC-Big 10 Challenge. That is garbage. I’m sure ODU or Drexel or Mason or Wilmington will be playing a Pac-10 team that same night, in California, and it’ll only be available in local markets. Now, when Drexel beats Arizona, that’s the game I want to watch.

    The fact that we have no alternative is what we should be in arms about.

  • Onno

    Hey Tom,

    Just wanted to say that I saw your comment on another article ( http://www.sportsgrid.com/ncaa-basketball/shaka-smart-goes-on-espn-says-joe-lunardi-is-not-be-all-and-end-all-of-bracketology/ ), and not only do you really seem to know what you’re talking about, it’s also so refreshing to read something well thought-out and positive, rather than some of the mindless drivel you see so much in the comment sections on the web. Well done.

  • http://twitter.com/RHS76 Romelle Slaughter II

    Bilas may had a point (I stress “may”) when the field was announced, but it doesn’t mean a damn thing once the ball is tipped and the game starts.

    Felix2012, your comment that how they did in the season should determine if they get in has some holes in it. How you do in your conference tournament has more weight than the regular season, and everyone knows it. Had Colorado lost in their opening round Big 12 game to Iowa State, and not win two in a row, no way in hell would they even be a topic of discussion with UAB, USC, VCU, and Clemson.

    I find it a joke that VCU is the whipping boy while Clemson and USC struggled in their respective leagues and they also had no business being in either. Clemson got ran out of the gym by UNC in the ACC tourney, and USC looked horrible in the Pac-10 tournament.

    For Bilas to use UAB to defend his outrage towards VCU is laughable and pathetic. Bilas, Vitale, and other analysts on ESPN are “blueblood snobs” in my book. They have no issue if a traditional powerhouse like UConn, Kentucky, UNC, Duke, or UCLA makes it to the Final Four. They have no problems at all if a mediocre team like Colorado, Marquette (who finished 11th in the Big East — 11th!), and bad power conference schools get in.

    But let them see a mid-major conference and their schools shatter the glass ceiling known as the Sweet Sixteen and go where no other small school has gone before, and it’s a “disgrace” to college basketball in Bilas’ eyes.

    That’s the beauty of March Madness to regular fans, not to the damn snobs who thinks that the “bluebloods” automatically “deserve” a spot in the Final Four.

    Jay Bilas’ assertion is asinine and delusional.

    No wonder he’s a lawyer when he’s not moonlighting as an analyst.

  • Scott

    Bilas can explain and object all he wants. Regardless of what he says now, this is his legacy … this is how he’s going to be remembered. Not just for being no judge of talent, but for being a colossal a$$ while doing it.

    Face it Jay, all objective evidence would suggest YOU are totally unworthy of commentating the tourney, but yet you were still selected. Not doing quite as well as VCU, but there nonetheless.

    Seriously, in a case like this, make a few self-deprecating jokes and people might forget. Try to defend yourself and explain it away and you just come off as a whiny twit.

  • Independent Thinker

    It was wrong for Jay Bilas, Dick Vitale, and the other so-called ESPN college basketball experts to unfairly “trash” VCU for being selected. Experts? They do not qualify to be called human beings. How would they feel if a “group of experts” publicly humiliated members of their families on national TV? What Bilas and the experts need to explain is why did the Big East (11) and Big 10 (7) have a total of 18 teams in the tournament. This is 30 percent of the 64 team field. There were no play-in games for these two conferences. Was this fair? Or was it preferential treatment for the two power conferences whose administrators control the NCAA … and are worshipped by the so-called experts at ESPN?

  • Jordan

    The argument isn’t whether VCU is a NCAA tournament caliber team, they OBVIOUSLY are. The point is that they’re PRE-tournament resume was pathetic compared to Colorado who had beaten K-State 3 times, beat Texas, and Mizzou or Virginia Tech that beat Duke. VCU was 4th place in the Colonial Conference, only had one quality win against UCLA and had several losses to other mid major schools. Based on their PRE-tournament resume they still did not deserve to get into the tournament over those other schools.

    Say VCU had only won 3 games in the regular season before the tournament started, but SOMEHOW made it into the tournament. Say the go on a incredible upsetting winning streak and win the whole thing, it doesn’t matter because they didn’t deserve to make the tournament over teams that performed better before the tournament.

  • Hhhh

    Classy, classy guy, Tom.

  • Lh

    UAB or USC didn’t have the record either. Ignorance is bliss.

  • Candor

    Bilas is just bitter that VCU knocked out his alma mater Duke in the first round in 2007. All the way to the Final Four, he spewed venom all over VCU and how they still didn’t deserve to be in. Not a single word about USC or UAB being less deserving. Just, “Oh, VCU lost to all these teams in the CAA! Let’s let them all in, too!” and other stupid snipe shots.

    He just a super a-hole that’s too arrogant to admit he was WRONG. VCU had the better resume, and BilASS only took a dump on VCU over and over again because A) They beat his Dukies and B) They weren’t even considered in Joe Lunardi’s precious bracketology. Despite expanding the field from 65 to 68, there were only TWO mid-majors that received at-large bids, and he still pitched a hissy fit over that. We used to get five to seven mid-major at-large bids in, but now we have the 11th place Big East team in over mid-majors that could’ve done serious damage like Wichita State.

    We could’ve had three mid-majors in the Final Four, had the NCAA selection committee not DELIBERATELY paired the two mid-major teams they considered to be the biggest threats to make the Final Four against one another: Butler and Old Dominion.

    Do not be surprised if the CAA is blacklisted by the committee from having more than one bid for a long time, as they have done with the Missouri Valley Conference.

    You can’t hide the secret for long that parity and one-and-done players have changed college basketball from 6 power conferences and everyone else to 12 power conferences. You can stack the at-large deck against them 31 to 6 every season, pair top mid-majors off in their first game, and they still will overcome your stupid little traps.

    Do not be surprised if the NCAA starts buzzing about CONTRACTING the tournament field instead of expanding. You have an 80 team tournament, I guarantee you that you’ll have several Final Four participants that won 5 games like VCU. It happened a lot from 1979 to 1985 while they slowly expanded the tournament from 32 to 40, then 48, then 52, etc, and stopped when they expanded to 64. A 1 seed went down practically every year without winning a single game, and that’s because the winner of the play-in game used the momentum to overtake them, just like VCU did. They expand this tournament to 80 or even 76 teams, LIMIT the amount of teams a conference can have so we don’t have a three-peat of the Big Least disaster, and you’ll see true March Madness.

    However, after VCU and Butler’s insurrection, I’m expecting the field to contract to 48 by 2015, or some baloney deal that splits Division I college basketball into I-A and I-AA. The NCAA f*cking hates Butler’s guts, and now VCU and the entire CAA has just made their s*it list, too. A field of 68, and only two mid-major at-large bids, one of which made the Final Four and was probably just put in so that once they lost to USC, they would have good enough reason to make the CAA a one-bid conference forever, just like the MVC and Horizon.

    F*ck you, Jay Bilas. F*ck you, NCAA. F*ck you, anyone that says “mid-majors have been given enough chances” when they have the deck stacked against them 31 to 2 in at-large bids almost every f*cking year. F*ck you.

  • Candor

    Ignorant. Tell me with a straight face that VCU had a worse resume than 14-loss USC or that garbage UAB team.

    You F*cking tell me. Tell me that VCU was team 68 of 68, because they were NOT. The final at-large bid was given to USC.

    Keep shoving what Jay BilASS pukes out down your throat, BCS fanboy.


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