Commentary

The value of early tournaments

Maui, Coaches vs. Cancer and more provide key lessons for March 2010

Originally Published: December 2, 2009
By Jay Bilas | ESPN.Com
Getty ImagesSyracuse learned a great deal about themselves at MSG this year, even if it was November.

This column appears in the December 14, 2009 issue of ESPN The Magazine. To access Jay Bilas' regularly updated blog, please go here.

Years ago, before computer ratings and "bodies of work" became the obsession of the NCAA Tournament selection committee, life was simpler for college basketball coaches: Succeed in conference play, you get an invite to the Dance. So savvy coaches prepared their teams for the games that mattered by arranging tough early slates.


To read more about Bilas' take on early season tournaments -- including thoughts from Tom Izzo and Coach K -- you must be an ESPN Insider.

Jay Bilas

College Basketball analyst