For Mid-Majors, Your Choices Are Clear

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For Mid-Majors, Your Choices Are Clear
(Photo by Streeter Lecka/Getty Images)

A lot of terms have been thrown around since Selection Sunday. Conspiracy, snub, and bias—just to name a few regarding mid-majors not getting into the tournament.

How about this one?

Beat somebody.

The great thing about the NCAA Tournament (and its committee) is that it is actually very fair when it comes to selecting at-large teams. Penn State was left out for the same reason Mt. Saint Mary's was—they didn't play anyone out of conference.

Providence? Give me a break.

A lot of people are complaining that Michigan got into the tournament strictly on their reputation. Oh, really? How quickly people forget that a few years ago, Michigan was what Penn State is today—a bubble team that didn't play anyone out of conference, and they were left out.

That happened twice to Michigan. Fast forward to this year—Michigan beat Duke and UCLA, and took UConn to the final minute at UConn.

Some people are using that age-old adage of their team having more wins than some teams in the tournament. That's what happens when you schedule for it.

If Michigan took away games at UConn and at Maryland, and substituted those games for any of Penn State's non-conference games, Michigan is 22-11, with those wins against Duke and UCLA in their back pocket.

But, that's not the point. The point is that even if a mid-major just played better teams, forget beating them, their SOS would be good enough for an at-large, but they just don't want to do that. After all, that would take away wins.

Davidson did that last year. They played six top 25 teams out of conference, and didn't win one of them. They won their conference tournament, but everyone unanimously agreed (including the chair of the tournament committee) that their SOS would've been enough to get them an at-large bid.

And they went to the Elite Eight.

So, mid-majors, if you don't play anyone and don't win your conference tournament, stop complaining. You don't belong in the NCAA Tournament if you don't do either of those things.

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