NCAA 2011 brackets are once again filled with surprises and controversy with a number of teams receiving an invitation to the Big Dance while others remain at home.
It's going to be a long offseason for Colorado, Alabama and, once again, Virginia Tech.
The Hokies are making a habit of being snubbed, and head coach Seth Greenberg has had just about enough.
While all three of those schools have considerable reason to gripe, USC, Georgia and Clemson have plenty of reason to smile.
They will all have a chance to make some major noise in March.
We won't know if these teams truly belong until they take the court next week. But for right now, we are free to critique and criticize Gene Smith and the NCAA tournament selection committee.
So let's get down to business.
Here's a look at some of the biggest injustices in the 2011 NCAA Tournament.
For some reason, it's difficult to hope small conference bubble teams like Harvard get snubbed come Selection Sunday.
Nevermind that their resumes are often sorely lacking, which could explain why no Ivy League team has ever received an at-large bid to the NCAA tournament.
That trend will continue, at least for another year, with Harvard failing to get the nod Sunday.
Maybe the brainiacs in Cambridge can explain exactly how a team with an overall strength of schedule of 120 managed to post a top-50 RPI.
Talk about a head-scratcher.
In the end, the lack of more than one solid non-conference win proved to be the Crimson's undoing.
Harvard defeated Colorado in impressive fashion, but failed to beat NCAA tournament teams George Mason and Michigan early in the season.
As Bob Ryan of the Boston Globe opined, it's tough to argue against leaving Harvard out of the Big Dance.
Even if they really didn't deserve it.
Of all of the injustices this time around, the selection committee got one right by leaving Boston College out of the expanded field.
The Eagles have some nice pieces and could have made the decision much more difficult had they only managed to beat Clemson in the ACC tournament.
Instead, a 70-47 loss pretty much sealed the Eagles' fate.
NIT, here they come.
Overall, BC's resume was one huge win from making the postseason. That win nearly came against North Carolina on Feb. 19, when the Eagles caught the Heels napping before falling 48-46 in Chapel Hill.
Unlike his fellow ACC head coach Seth Greenberg, BC head man Steve Donahue didn't blame the committee for the snub.
Instead, he blamed himself and his team.
"We got what we deserved. We've got to work harder, we've got to do things better," Donahue told Jerry Spar of WEEI.com Sunday.
There should be better days ahead for the Eagles, assuming star guard Reggie Jackson makes the wise decision to return for his senior season.
Saint Mary's boasts one of the most enjoyable teams to watch in all of college basketball. They play a free-wheeling style orchestrated by strong guard play.
And when they are clicking, they are fun to watch and tough to beat.
That's exactly why they could have been giant killers had they managed to sneak into this year's expanded field.
Instead, Mickey McConnell and the Gaels will likely be forced to inflict damage on major-conference schools in the NIT.
Saint Mary's was considered a long shot to make the field, thanks in large part to a weak non-conference schedule and failure to beat NCAA tournament-bound Utah State, along with two losses to powerhouse Gonzaga.
A respectable RPI of 46 offered at least a little hope the Gaels would make it back to the Big Dance.
In a year when the selection committee once again dropped the ball with at least two teams, it's safe to say they got this one right.
Without beating the 'Zags in the WCC tournament, St. Mary's needed more than a prayer to join the party.
Malcolm Delaney and Virginia Tech were riding high after outplaying top-ranked Duke down the stretch en route to a 64-60 win on Feb. 26 in Blacksburg.
After the thrilling win, an NCAA bid seemed almost inevitable.
Instead, the wheels promptly fell off the bus.
The Hokies looked to be sitting pretty after beating the Dukies, only to drop consecutive games to bubble teams Boston College and Clemson.
Even after being dismantled by the Blue Devils in the ACC tournament semifinals Saturday afternoon, Virginia Tech still seemed to have a decent chance of sneaking in.
Ultimately, the Hokies' paltry RPI and lack of quality non-conference wins proved to be their biggest flaw in the eyes of the selection committee.
Still, it's difficult to understand how a 21-11 team with a winning conference record and ACC tournament wins could be left out of the expanded field.
According to the Virginian-Pilot, Greenberg vented to reporters outside his office Sunday evening:
“You almost wonder if someone in that room has their own agenda and that agenda doesn’t include Virginia Tech. Just plain and simple. I totally wonder it, if someone in that room has an agenda. The explanation was so inconsistent with the result that it was almost mind-boggling."
At least he was honest.
But is it really mind-boggling?
The lackluster effort against a mediocre BC team following the Duke win was emblematic of Virginia Tech's inconsistent play this season—something that also hurt the Hokies last year when they also went uninvited to the party.
In the end, the loss at Clemson to finish the season appears to have been the Hokies' death knell.
Greenberg will have to wait until next season—again.
Let the Madness begin!
Alabama didn't lose a game on its home court all season long, but the Crimson Tide still didn't get much respect from the selection committee for what they did on the road and at neutral sites.
After knocking off bubble team Georgia in the SEC tournament Friday, many experts including ESPN's Joe Lunardi had 'Bama dancing, at least until late Sunday.
Two wins over the Bulldogs late in the year seemed to bode well for Alabama, which posted a 12-4 record in the SEC and looked like a virtual lock.
According to CBS analyst Seth Davis, no team with a 12-4 record in a major conference has ever been excluded.
There's a first time for everything.
Like many of this year's snubs, the committee didn't seem to be impressed by what happened earlier in the season.
Losses to Iowa and Saint Peter's may have been what kept the SEC from getting another team into the field.
Although the committee supposedly stresses the importance of finishing strong, it seems that this year's field rewarded teams for what they did early in the season.
How else would you explain Illinois and Clemson limping into the NCAA tournament?
Alabama will go down as one of the biggest snubs on what was another odd Selection Sunday.
Some things just don't make sense.
Every year, it seems as if the selection committee drops the ball on at least one major conference team.
Say hello to Colorado and a respectable 21-13 record, including three wins over Big 12 foe Kansas State and a win over then No. 5 Texas.
The Buffs did enough during the regular season to play themselves off the bubble in the eyes of most experts, including CBS' Seth Davis.
Davis said on the CBS selection show Sunday evening that he didn't even have Colorado among the last four teams making the field.
In other words, just about everyone thought they were a lock.
Looking beyond the impressive conference wins over other NCAA tournament teams, the Buffaloes played one of the worst non-conference schedules in the country this season.
A blowout loss to Harvard—another team considered to be a snub—and a loss to San Francisco probably were enough to keep Colorado out of the dance.
If you're going to play a soft pre-conference schedule, running the table is a must.
Led by sensational guard Alec Burks, Colorado figures to makes a serious run at the NIT and build momentum heading into next season.
You've got to wonder what they would have ton in the Big Dance, where parity figures to reign, at least among the middle seeds.
Buffaloes fans should at least be excited for 2011-12, providing Burks doesn't opt to declare for the NBA draft.