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THE SPORTING SCENE

CREW

By Michael Churchill

Some day, someone will write a long book, I trust, to be entitled "The Theory and Practice of Judging What Hockey Teams Are the Best in the East."

Then everything will be simplified for the NCAA selection committee; it will go by the book, everybody else will go but the book, and nobody will ever have any gripes.

Maybe somebody, come to think of it, has already written this badly-needed volume, and this year's selection committee is hiding it from us. Yes, by thunder, that's it! What else could account for the excellent grasp of theory the committee displayed? Look at it this way:

Theory 1: "Always base selections on the record." Now, nothing is simpler than that especially for Chairman Asa Bushnell, who has not seen an important hockey game this year. B.U. has 14-5-1, R.P.L. has 11-2-1, I mean, after all, R.P.I. has only lost to Yale and Princeton.

Theory 2: "Always use "depth" as the prime consideration,"--sage words from committeeman-coach Eddie Jeremiah of Dartmouth. Right-ho. Now let's seen B.U. has two good lines, and both it and R.P.I. have played most of their games with a grand total of 12 men. That ought to be enough depth to cover up any mistake we make. Anyway, Harvard and B.C. have only three good lines apiece.

Theory 3: "Always apportion the jam equitably." Very, very good. The committees obviously cannot send two Boston teams, or even two teams from the East Coast. Tie the inlanders into college hockey, and keep them happy, too, all over Troy, N.Y.

Theory 4: "Send the team which will make the best showing." Simple as eating crow, isn't it? Now Harvard has only beaten Yale twice, Princeton once, B.U. twice, and has been playing great hockey in its last and first games, but it's undependable. And B.C. hasn't been beating anybody except major opposition. We'll send R.P.I. Yessirree, those boys have really been on lately--12-0 over Hamilton, 13-1 over Providence. They did, of course, beat one good team, St. Lawrence.

Theory 5: "It doesn't matter who we send, the results in the tournament count."--How can you argue with this logical simplicity? After all, if R.P.I. is any good, it will show it in the tourney. We know all about these other teams.

I don't understand how people can feel miffed and unhappy about this year's NCAA choices, with the committee displaying such a fine example of theoretical dependence. Make no mistake about it--theory makes Asa a smart boy, and definitely requires no practicality whatsoever.

Today, Tufts' coach and committeeman Charlie Hafey will be on hand at the hockey writers' luncheon to "explain" the selections -- selections which obviously need no explanation.

I shall congratulate him in advance for his fine effort.

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