Sunday, March 13, 2011

The Five Biggest Tournament Snubs

Below are two sections of snubs. One is for the teams that felt like they should be in the tournament but didn't. The other is for the teams that did make it, but things aren't as kosher as they should be.


1-Colorado: I'm not as outraged as most about Colorado's exclusion from the dance. But it does stink when you see UAB, Clemson and VCU make it in. The Buffs' problem was their non-conference schedule was horrible. While that did drive down their RPI, this team did fairly well in the highly competitive Big XII. Clemson and UAB have beaten nobody this year. Colorado beat Kansas State three times.

2-Alabama: It's not Bama's fault that the SEC West sucked. They ran away with the division and looked the part of a tournament team. Oh, and the Tide beat Georgia ... an SEC East team ... in both their meetings this year, including on Friday night in the SEC tournament. Yet Georgia is a No. 10 seed in the tournament and Bama gets no love. Alabama also won at Tennessee ... another SEC East team who fit comfortably in the tournament.

3-Virginia Tech: The Hokies live on this snub line every year. This year, they have much less of a gripe. After their signature win ... over Duke ... Tech looked remarkably bad the rest of the way -- save an ACC tournament win over Florida State. By the way, that Duke win is probably a better win than any of the other bubble teams. UAB lost to Duke by 21 when they hooked up.

4-Harvard: You know an Ivy League school wasn't going to get an at-large bid ... but why not? The Crimson beat fellow bubble schools Boston College and Colorado. They hold the highest RPI of anyone to not get into the tournament. And they lost an automatic bid on a buzzer beater in a one-game playoff with Princeton. I think we'd all like to see how Harvard would perform here than, say, UAB. If the RPI was so important to the Selection Committee that UAB got in and Alabama didn't, then why didn't Harvard have a chance?

5-St Mary's: They were a true bubble team, but they did beat Gonzaga and St. John's who are both in the tournament. Sure, the win over the Red Storm came at the beginning of the season when they weren't anything similar to what they are now, but it does count in their body of work. St. Mary's officially gets to be the team to wear the crown of "nobody will play us". It's hard for a west coast school who has been pretty good over the last several years to get anybody of note to come their direction. Instead, they have to go to places like Vanderbilt (which is tough for anyone to win) to try to pick up some love.


1-Notre Dame: The Irish barely finished behind Pitt for the Big East regular season championship. The Irish beat Pitt at Pitt in their lone matchup. Pitt lost their first Big East tournament game while Notre Dame clobbered Cincinnati, a No. 6 seed in this tournament, by 38 points. Yet the Irish are a No. 2 seed and Pitt is a No. 1. It is a big deal. Notre Dame now sits in a bracket with Kansas as the top seed while Pittsburgh sits atop a region with Florida as the No. 2.

2-Purdue: The Boilermakers are one of the better teams in this tournament and, to me, deserved a No. 2 seed ahead of Florida and, maybe, North Carolina. Sure, Purdue hasn't finished strong but neither has Tennessee or Georgetown who both got darn good seeds for their resumes.

3-Cincinnati: Their No. 6 seed is fair, but having to potentially face fellow Big East for UConn in the second round is rather cheesy. I mean, did the Big East get 17 teams in or something? Granted, three of the four No. 6 seeds are Big East teams ... and the other is playing a Big East team ... it's hard to place them. To me, switching the Bearcats with the Temple Owls makes more sense. It's the same bracket (West) and Temple is the No. 7 seed. Cincy would get Penn State before facing San Diego State. Then they could play UConn in the Sweet 16, which is much better.

4-BYU: Getting a No. 3 seed isn't that bad, but when you have been so good all year long and one guy gets kicked off your team late in the season because he had sex with his girlfriend, it's hard to swallow falling to a 3-seed. The Cougars did beat San Diego State twice (albeit with the now-suspended player) and the Aztecs got themselves a No. 2 spot.

5-Ohio State: Okay, you are the No. 1 overall seed and you have hot North Carolina, tough Syracuse, talented Kentucky and physical West Virginia in your bracket. Granted, the Buckeyes won't get to play all these teams but a Sweet 16 matchup with Kentucky is pretty tough. The biggest complaint would be in seeing Pitt's region filled with pretty sketchy teams.

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