Sunday, February 08, 2009

NCAA disses Omaha

Interesting that the NCAA decided not to give Omaha the volleyball final four for either 2010 or 2012. Apparently a guarantee of record crowds wasn't enough. I really thought Omaha would win the bid for one of those years, but I think many believe the Huskers have an unfair advantage when they play a final four at home.

And they do. It's a huge advantage for the Huskers whenever they play in the state of Nebraska whether its at the NU Coliseum, the Devaney Center or the Qwest Center. Plus with the outstanding recruiting class the Huskers signed for next year - including outside hitters Hannah Werth and Gina Mancuso - plus 6-5 setter/rightside hitter Morgan Broekhuis committed for next year's class, coach John Cook has pretty much guaranteed his Huskers will be national championship contenders from 2010 to 2012.

When you look at it like that, it's not too surprising that the NCAA went another direction. Cook didn't seem that disappointed. He said he'd rather play a regional in Omaha and go on the road for the final four. After all, if the Huskers make the final four in 2010 all they have to do is cruise down I-29 to Kansas City. The Sprint Center there could turn into Qwest Center South if the Huskers make it.

Then the 2012 final four will be in Louisville. The 2009 final four will be in Tampa with the 2011 going to San Antonio. It's quite possible that there won't be a home team in any of those, although Florida could certainly cause some problems for opponents if they make it to Tampa.

The Huskers are already set to host a regional at the Qwest Center at the end of this season. You have to think they will have a decent chance of making it to Tampa. And as good as they will be, they will likely host a couple more in the near future.

It was an ecomonic loss for the city of Omaha. Kansas City estimates the final four in 2010 will bring $5 million into its economy. It is a loss for Omaha, but it really looks like a good thing for Cook and his team.

Posted by Bob Hamar @ Sunday, February 08, 2009 || 0 comments

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