I'm not sure how many people are aware, but a great injustice has occurred by the NCAA Tournament selection committee.
A tremendous competitor from the Pacific-10 conference has been left out of the Big Dance. No, I'm not talking about Arizona State University, as I firmly believe no team with an RPI in the 80s that played only one road game in non-conference play (and lost, no less), should be included in the biggest sporting event of the year.
The team who has really been snubbed is ASU's Pac-10 brethren up in the Northwest, Oregon State University.
Sure, at first glance, OSU's resume doesn't strike fear into the hearts of the opposition with a final record of 6-25 overall and 0-19 in all Pac-10 games, but this is a situation where one has to read between the lines.
In the ultra-competitive environment of big-time Division I college basketball, it takes a real group of men to put the needs of others before themselves, and OSU should be commended for this.
OSU acted as the ultimate team player in what was nationally regarded as the toughest top-to-bottom conference in the country. With everybody beating each other, wins came at a premium, and the Beavers proved to be the gentlemen of the nation bowing out gracefully...every game!
That type of leadership stemmed from the top, as senior Marcel Jones explained to the Register Guard's Adam Jude and Oregonian's Paul Buker that if the team was able to shoot well, "I can see in my mind five games we would have won easily."
However, those five wins could have been the difference between six Pac-10 teams being selected for the Big Dance and four, a risk the Beavers were rightfully unwilling to take.
Jones even acted as inspirational leader to the opposition, as he reminded the University of Washington team to be prepared and come out playing well.
"Don't let the record fool you," said Jones, who even played the part of host by allegedly calling up to UW's hotel room to ask players to come join him in the parking lot outside the night before the game.
As a result, the Huskies were able to run away with a 97-59 win the next day, no doubt due to the sage advice from Jones.
Much will be made of how far Pac-10 teams can advance in the NCAA Tournament in the next few days and weeks, but give a big assist to the Beavers as you tune in, even if they can't be there to experience the joy themselves.