“No way man, my team got snubbed,” will be the words uttered by those who hold their hearts dear to their beloved alums after the NCAA committee reveals their field of sixty eight who will be competing for the national championship.
However, some colleges who are snubbed will be warranted, while others will be an obvious selection.
For the mid-major conferences, they are the unfortunate ones who will be the most impacted by the selection committee.
This tournament has been, and continues to be, about which teams will generate the most revenue, the greatest media attention, and which teams will capture the largest crowd in the ratings.
Iona, with a 25-7 record and the regular season conference champion in the MAAC by going 15-3, will not achieve any of those things.
Texas, 20-13 and 9-9 in the Big 12, who lost to a woeful Oklahoma State and an Oregon State team this season, is in consideration for an at-large bid over Iona mainly because of its conference.
Why should a team who excelled all season in their own conference not be rewarded?
Oral Roberts went 17-1 in their conference, but faltered in the conference tournament to a red-hot Western Illinois team.
But, because they aren't a household name, but rather a dentist company title, they will be overlooked.
Seton Hall, 8-10 in the Big East and who lost four out of their last six, will most likely take their deserving spot.
The saddest snub if they are not selected this Sunday would belong to Drexel.
It’s hard to ignore a team who won 20 straight, including a 25-2 record since December 10, with a conference record of 16-2 and an overall record of 27-6, but don’t be surprised if the committee finds a way to.
There is too much emphasis on the importance of strength of schedule and RPI’s when the committee has to decide between a George Mason and a Mississippi State team.
Clearly, Mississippi State will have a stronger schedule and RPI because of two factors: They are in the SEC, and they have an easier time having a schedule with other large conference names because they are in the SEC.
Teams like George Mason do not have the luxury setting up their schedules with the Dukes of college basketball.
The committee needs to not just glance at the mid-majors records, but they should look at their whole body of work.
When they look at teams in large conferences such as the Big Ten, ACC, or the Big East and they see a team with a conference play record of 8-8 or a 9-9, they feel this team should be in the tournament field.
And their assurance of having these kinds of teams in the field is reinforced when they see them win one or two games in their conference tournaments, and it distorts their image of the team they are watching.
Below are two bubble teams, but their names will not be revealed. They will be labeled as Team A and Team B. Here are their resumes for the season.
- Team A:
21-13 9-7 in conference, RPI : 43, SOS: 14
- Team B:
20-12,8-10 in conference, RPI: 61, SOS: 57
The glaring choice of these two would be Team A if you base it on their RPI and SOS.
Team A is Marshall.
Team B is Seton Hall.
Seton Hall is projected as one of the last four in.
Why should Marshall, who had a better conference record, RPI, and SOS than Seton Hall be left out?
Ratings and money. That's why.