March Madness 2011 Bracket: Virginia Tech Hokies and 5 Tourney Snubs
As March Madness and the 2011 NCAA tournament approached, teams like the Virginia Tech Hokies were wondering whether they would make the tournament or if the NCAA would snub them.
With brackets expanding to 68 teams, the most ever in a tournament, the odds for getting in were higher than ever. Yet the bubble is a forever-unforgiving place, regardless of how many teams make it.
Although the NCAA tournament itself, in many ways, is the perfect sporting event, the selection of teams never is. Here are the reasons the NCAA did not select the following teams.
Alabama Crimson Tide
Alabama had 23 wins this season, but they came against a weak SEC.
Had the Crimson Tide beaten Kentucky in the SEC tournament last week (or even kept the game close), their hopes for a spot in the tournament would likely be fulfilled.
The snub especially stings for Alabama because Georgia, a team the Crimson Tide has beaten twice in recent weeks, made the tournament with a very similar resume.
Colorado had a number of quality wins throughout the regular season, but many of them came at home. Colorado never proved itself on the road this year, and this made the selection committee nervous when the tournament is played entirely (theoretically) on neutral courts.
It is always tough when teams see schools they have beaten from their own conference make the tournament. Colorado beat No. 5 seed Kansas St. three times throughout the season, in addition to defeating No. 4-seeded Texas.
Boston College Eagles
Boston College has one of the best scorers in the country in Reggie Jackson. He's the type of guy that could thrive in the NCAA tournament and take a low-seeded team to the Sweet 16 virtually by himself.
Jackson will have to work his magic in the NIT, as Boston College also failed to make the field of 68.
Only four ACC schools made the field this year, and with two losses to Clemson throughout the season, Boston College ruined its shot to become the fifth.
Cleveland State Vikings
With 26 wins this season, Cleveland State had a very successful season. Losing in the semifinals of the MAC tournament killed any realistic shot of making the tournament, but a 26-8 record allowed players to hold out hope until Sunday.
Cleveland State might have had a more realistic shot at an at-large bid had they beaten Butler, the best team on their schedule, either time the two teams played.
Cleveland State had an incredibly weak schedule and didn't capitalize on its opportunities to play good teams close.
Virginia Tech Hokies
Four straight years, Virginia Tech has been on the bubble. Four straight years, Virginia Tech has failed to make the NCAA tournament.
Virginia Tech had the best case among these teams for making the tournament. A win against Duke and a strong run in the ACC tournament (including a dramatic win against Florida State) have caused coach Seth Greenberg to question the NCAA's motivation for excluding his team.
Although the Hokies had one of the toughest schedules in the country and fared well against some of the better teams, losses to weak teams like Georgia Tech and Virginia and back-to-back losses against Boston College and Clemson to end the regular season put the Hokies' tournament bid on tenuous ground.