There are many people whining and complaining about the snubs in this year’s NCAA Tournament. I completely disagree. In my opinion, there are only two teams that should be incredibly angry to not have a bid in the tournament. I have no sympathy for St. Mary’s, Alabama, and Virginia Tech and neither should you.
The problem with Virginia Tech is that the negatives overshadow the positives. Yes, they defeated Duke, who has a number one seed, but take a look at the Hokies’ non-conference strength of schedule. No seriously, look it up.
How bad is that schedule? Virginia Tech still wouldn’t have made it into the tournament even if they had defeated some of those non-conference teams, AND THEY DIDN’T!
I am not saying that their non-conference schedule is a completely awful. Yes, they do have a decent record, but look at the teams that they defeated. Don’t want to? Okay, I’ll name a few. Campbell, UNC Greensboro, Cal State Northridge, St. Bonaventure, USC Upstate, Mount St. Mary’s, Longwood. Have you ever heard of these teams? Me neither. The quality opponents they lost to are Kansas St. by sixteen, UNLV at home, and Purdue. Now, there are some people out there that say they did not make the tournament last year because they did not play a tough enough schedule.
Does Virginia Tech think this schedule is tough? Who cares if you defeated non-conference teams that no one has heard of? How about you start defeating high quality teams, consistently. Nevertheless, what I think what killed them the most was the ACC tournament game against Duke. V-Tech’s biggest selling point for the tournament is that they defeated Duke during the regular season. Well guess what, their 14-point loss in the Semi-Finals just proved to everyone their win during the season was a fluke.
St. Mary’s shot themselves in the foot. First, nobody takes the West Coast Conference seriously, so their 11-3 conference record is irrelevant. Second, their strength of schedule was already terrible to begin with. Then, they lose at home to Utah St., go 1-3 against Gonzaga, and get absolutely destroyed at Vanderbilt. I’m not done yet. They only played against two ranked opponents all season, they lost both, and to top it all off they lose to San Diego! I’m not going to even tell you San Diego’s embarrassing record. Google it!
Alabama has no case either. The SEC West is also a terrible conference so, once again; their 12-4 conference record is irrelevant. The only way I could see Alabama getting snubbed is if they had an excellent non-conference schedule, and also had an excellent non-conference record. None of which Alabama had. Their non-conference strength of schedule was ranked 294 and they went 9-7 with losses from Iowa, Seton Hall, and St. Peter’s. Go figure.
There are only two teams who were really snubbed. One of which was Colorado.
Colorado – Kansas St. finished the season ranked 23rd in the nation. Their overall record is 22-10 and also their Big Ten record is 10-6 where they finished tied for third with Texas A&M. Their RPI ranking is 23 and even though they struggled out of the gate, they still finished strong. They defeated Gonzaga early in the season when the Bulldogs were ranked 12th. They finished their last ten games going 8-2 and during that stretch they defeated the number one team in the nation, Kansas, by double digits. They are currently the 12th seed in the tournament. Why am I telling you this? Well, because Colorado defeated Kansas St. not once, not twice, but THREE TIMES! If they just defeated Wildcats once it should get them at least some consideration for being in the tournament.
Yes, Colorado does have a terrible road record, 3-12, but just look at some of the teams that they have defeated besides Kansas St., three times! Also, they have six wins against top-50 opponents compared to Clemson and UAB’s combined zero wins against top-50. They defeated Colorado St., Indiana, Missouri, Baylor, Nebraska twice, and Texas. Who did UAB and Clemson defeat, besides no one, to get into the tournament?
Harvard – This biggest snub of the NCAA Tournament goes to Harvard Crimson. They were literally seconds away from winning their conference title and an automatic bid in the tournament. Harvard did have a big loss at Connecticut and a loss from Yale, but take a look at their RPI. Their RPI is 37, they went 23-6 with a 12-2 conference record, and were ranked 14th in the nation in Field Goal Percentage. The Ivy League is nothing compared to the ACC, obviously, and it may seem like people were asking for a break with Harvard. However, I believe that these kids deserve a bid. They define what a student-athlete should be and in my opinion deserved a spot more than any other team. Then again, if they had won their game against Princeton we wouldn’t be having this conversation.
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