The NCAA tournament field of 68 teams is never fair. There are always teams left on the outside looking in that think they deserve to be with 67 others vying for college basketball’s biggest prize.
However, these teams will be left on Selection Sunday wishing they did a bit more during their regular season.
Texas Longhorns (19-12 overall, 9-9 conference), RPI: 50
The Longhorns are in the top 50 of the RPI and have a strength of schedule that was the 20th toughest in the nation.
However, they only have three wins over top 50 RPI teams (Temple, Iowa State, Kansas State) and nine losses to top 50 RPI teams (North Carolina, Iowa State, Missouri, Kansas State, Missouri, twice to Baylor and Kansas).
They have a chance to cement their placement in the NCAA tournament with a win over Iowa State in the first round of the Big 12 conference tournament.
If they cannot win that first game, their tournament chances are over.
Seton Hall Pirates (20-12 overall, 8-10 conference), RPI: 54
The Pirates played well this year winning 20 games. Their strength of schedule was the 49th toughest in the nation. Plus, they only have four victories over teams in the top 50 in the RPI: Virginia Commonwealth, West Virginia, Connecticut and Georgetown.
However, they have eight losses against the RPI’s top 50, dropping games to Northwestern, Syracuse, South Florida, Notre Dame, Marquette, Connecticut and twice to Louisville.
Seton Hall didn’t do itself any favors when it lost three of its last four games to finish its regular season, including a 86-58 blowout loss to the worst team in the Big East, DePaul.
The Pirates did win one Big East Tournament game, defeating Providence 79-47. However, they lost in the second round to Louisville, which may keep them from getting into the NCAA tournament.
Miami Hurricanes (18-11 overall, 9-7 conference), RPI: 51
The Hurricanes are just outside of the top 50 of the RPI and had a strength of schedule that was 50th in the nation. They did end their season with eight wins in their last 12 games. Plus, they own victories over at Duke and Florida State.
However, they have dropped seven of their 11 losses to teams inside of the top 50 of the RPI, losing to Purdue, Memphis, West Virginia, Virginia, Florida State and twice to North Carolina.
Plus, the Hurricanes failed to reach the 20-win plateau, which normally is a benchmarker for teams making the NCAA tournament.
These three teams are on the bubble heading into Selection Sunday. However, these teams should start to prepare for the National Invitational Tournament, not the NCAA tournament.