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Jim Calhoun and Tim Cluess battle in the press

Jim Calhoun

Connecticut head coach Jim Calhoun reacts during a game against West Virginia in the second round of the Big East NCAA college basketball conference tournament in New York, Wednesday, March 7, 2012. Connecticut beat West Virginia in overtime 71-67. (AP Photo/Seth Wenig)


I’ll never understand what a coach thinks he’s going to do by popping off in the media about his team’s tournament standing. We don’t have any control over what teams get into the bracket.

All the press conference whining does is provide me with a source of entertainment.

Tim Cluess is Iona’s head coach. When the Gaels lost to Fairfield in the semifinals of the MAAC Tournament last week, it didn’t take him long to start trying to convince people that his team deserves an at-large. And he took a swipe at the Big East in the process.

“I think we should definitely be in the discussion,” Cluess said. “If you’re going to pick eight or nine teams out of the Big East, I think that’s nonsense. Those teams aren’t as good as we are. The top teams, yeah, but not the seventh-, eighth- or ninth-place team there or any other league. Not this year.”

This quote made it on Jim Calhoun’s radar and, as you might expect, the surly Bostonian had a thing or two to say about it.

“So I heard the coach of Iona saying don’t put one of these Big East teams in?” Calhoun said. “We’ve played four teams in the top 100. I’m sure he is a great coach and I have a lot of respect for what he’s done certainly. But you’ve got to kind of tighten those laces up. … I think 22 out of 32 top 100 teams is probably a pretty good schedule.”

Frankly, neither of these two teams would really be able to complain if they get left out of the dance. Iona blew two 18 point leads in MAAC play, lost by 20 at Marshall and lost to Fairfield -- who was without their star point guard Derek Needham -- in the MAAC Tournament. UConn went 8-10 in Big East play and had one stretch where they lost nine out of 12.

How about you save the public sniping for teams that would actually be ‘snubs’?

Can someone get Seth Greenberg on the line?

Rob Dauster is the editor of the college basketball website Ballin’ is a Habit. You can find him on twitter @robdauster.