OT-The NCAA Snubs

Submitted by mfan_in_ohio on March 13th, 2011 at 8:50 PM

First of all, how great is it that this thread is OT?  Anyway, this is the time every year that the talking heads on ESPN are all up in arms about teams that got left out of the tournament.  This year's teams are primarily Virginia Tech (again) and Colorado, with a little St. Mary's, Harvard, and Alabama thrown in.  Personally, I think the committee wanted the First Four to be  major conference vs. mid-major conference, and they thought VCU and UAB were the two best mid-major teams.  I also think that the committee took records away from home to be very important.  Examples:

Michigan on the road: 5-5, with wins at tourney teams MSU, Penn St., and Clemson.  This is where the #8 seed comes in.

Penn State was out of the tournament up until they got to the BTT finals simply because they lacked good road wins.  They had the toughest schedule in the  Big Ten (only played Iowa and Indiana once each), with an SOS ranked #6 in the NCAA, and had home wins over Wisconsin, Michigan State, and Illinois, but their best road win is Minnesota in the last game of the season.  That's why they needed to beat Wisconsin and MSU at a neutral site to get in.  If they lost to MSU I think they were out. 

Colorado on the road: 3-9.  Wins at Kansas St., Texas Tech, and CSU-Bakersfield.  Worst losses were to San Francisco, Oklahoma, and Iowa State.  Also lost to bubble teams Georgia and Harvard.

 UAB on the road: 9-5.  Only four of those wins were in the RPI top 100, but that's 3 more top 100 road wins than Colorado has.  Of the five losses, only one was to a bad team (Arizona St., in November).  Three of the  other four were to tournament teams Duke, Georgia, and Memphis. 

VCU on the  road: 8-6.  This is the shakiest of the bubble teams, as they lost to South Florida, Northeastern, and Georgia St. on the road.  However, they also won at Old Dominion, Wichita St., and James Madison (all top 100 teams), and beat UCLA and George Mason in neutral site games. 

Strength of schedule was really important as well.  Colorado played 7 teams with an RPI of 294 or worse.  They finished 20-13, so they are a 0.500 team against the top 293 teams.  Penn State didn't play anyone ranked below #230.

So who do you think should be in or out?



March 13th, 2011 at 8:56 PM ^

I do think Colorado has/had more of a case than both UAB and VCU, but Va Tech could have been in over UAB and VCU as well. I have no problem with SEC teams getting "snubbed", especially Alabama with their truly abysmal SOS.


March 13th, 2011 at 9:26 PM ^

Virginia Tech: 4-6 on the road.  Wins against Maryland (#98), NC St. (#124), Wake (#258), and NC Greensboro (#298).  Losses include at Virginia (#141) and Georgia Tech (#167).  They also played a weak schedule, with only one game each against Duke and UNC, swept by BC and Virginia, and had 8 wins against teams ranked #229 or worse. 

BC: 4-6 on the road.  Road wins against Maryland, Virginia Tech, South Carolina, and Virginia, so two top-100 road wins.  All 6 road losses were to the top 100 (although one was to #100 Rhode Island).  Also had a nice neutral site win against Texas A&M, but lost to both Harvard and Yale at home.  The biggest problem was that they got crushed by Clemson in the ACC tournament.  If that game was at all close they might have gotten in.  I do think, though, that BC has a better case than Virginia Tech.  Tougher schedule, fewer bad losses, and BC swept Va. Tech.  I'd rather have them in than USC.


March 13th, 2011 at 8:58 PM ^

By a troll. Have to do a double take every time.
<br>Anyway, I know there's probably some injustice and mistakes, but I always feel bad for the teams ESPN is calling out so harshly for making it in. Vital feels for the players left out, but eh, the guys who got in, screw their feelings.
<br>I do love how they've added the caveat that it doesn't mean they can't win in the Tournament. Too many times with egg on their face. I mean if they win, shouldn't they have been complaining about the teams they beat?


March 13th, 2011 at 9:02 PM ^

Any game between a 5 seed and a 12 seed can't be anything worse than a 70-30 proposition.  It is a fact of the NCAA Tournament that teams that did not deserve to get in will win basketball games.  That doesn't mean letting them in in the first place was the right decision, anymore than winning the lottery validates the decision to buy the lottery ticket.  

Even if UAB makes the Elite 8, Colorado had the better tournament resume.  They should have been in.  UAB should not.  


March 13th, 2011 at 9:01 PM ^

I hope people bitching about the snubs aren't the same people bitching about not having a football tournament because "deserving teams get left out of the championship."

Anyway, screw VT.  The only disappointing thing about them getting left out (AGAIN) is that Seth Greenberg finally learned to keep his mouth shut.  Entertaining guy during bubble season.


March 13th, 2011 at 9:08 PM ^

VCU or UAB to be in over the teams that got left out . UAB had exactly one win over the top 50 and that came against VCU. VCU was 3-6 against the top 50, and  had those horrible losses you speak of. Their best win came against an UCLA team that really isn't that great. Just for comparison Colorado had 6 wins against the top 50.

I never thought I would see one win over the top 50 be good enough to make the tournament. That is mind boggling.

True Blue in CO

March 13th, 2011 at 9:07 PM ^

with leaving out Colorado being the biggest mistake. I believe that we will see the NCAA answer the cries of the fans and media by adding more teams to next year's tournament. I will not say conspiracy but this is a simple solution to respond to the outcries that we will hear over and over in the coming days.


March 13th, 2011 at 9:18 PM ^

Haven't heard much about the home/road split but that would make some sense.  I've heard the committee in the past mention that they like to evaluate things that are like the NCAA tournament (non-home games).  Going further, Virginia Tech's best road win is at NC State (15-16 on the year).  USC on the other hand won at Tennessee, at Washington, and lost by two at Kansas.

Seems like this is a stat that explains a lot of the thinking that went into these decisions.


March 13th, 2011 at 9:38 PM ^

The committee weighs non-conference strength of schedule fairly heavily; it you go out and play seven teams rated #294 or worse like Colorado did, you'd better absolutely blitz your conference because the committee is going to look for any excuse to leave you out. Just ask 2010 VT, 2009 Penn State, or 2008 Arizona State. You can argue whether that's fair or not, but it's been stone obvious for years and any coach who schedules like that knows (or should know) that he just punched his ticket to the NIT.

VT seems like the only serious snub to me, although you could make an argument for Harvard or St. Mary's.


March 13th, 2011 at 10:04 PM ^

I think it sucks for schools like Colorado because they were coming on at the end, and everyone had penciled them in. That is a gut punch. Teams like BC and VT have less to complain about because they were always on the bubble and failed to distinguish themselves at the end. All that said, I'd be pissed teams like Cincy made it since they were underwhelming in their OOC and still got in comfortably.


March 13th, 2011 at 11:41 PM ^

Year after year it seems like there is a recurring theme: regardless of your league's reputation, you gotta play a good challenging non-conference schedule.  If you play in a weaker mid-major league, you have to be great in the league and win your share of those tough non-league games. If you play in a big boy league like the Big Ten, or Big East,  you need to go at least .500 regular season and show some quality wins either in or out of the league.

Colorado, VT and Alabama need to ratchet up the non-league schedule and win some of those games.  They can all point to some good things in the league, but their resumes aren't well rounded enough. Their own fault for the way they schedule. Ripping VCU or UAB is missing the point.


March 13th, 2011 at 11:51 PM ^

it doesn't matter because they won't win the NC. People will complain about not making it to the NCAA tourney but they'll get knocked out in 1st/2nd round anyway.


March 14th, 2011 at 12:34 AM ^

In the last twenty years, one four seed, Arizona, has won it all.  Two three seeds, Florida and Syracuse, have also won the tourament.  UConn, Kentucky, and Duke have won as a two.  That's 14 ones, 3 twos, 2 threes, and 1 four.  

So, in the last twenty years, if you haven't been one of the sixteen top teams going in, you haven't won the tournament.  14 of those years, the committee got it right and one of the four best teams won.  

So, really, nobody who is worse than a four seed has much of a chance at winning the tournament.  That means nobody who was on the bubble and didn't make it has very much to bitch about.   

The main benefit in getting there is enhanced recruiting.  Being a perennial NCAA team is great for recruiting, and vice-versa.  It's why I really wish MSU would have gotten the snub they deserved instead of the courtesy bid I predicted they were going to get.  It would be nice for Michigan's scheduled return to dominance to get pushed ahead a little bit.



March 13th, 2011 at 11:57 PM ^

Very good point about the road records.  I remember two years ago, our road record was not very good (which made that Minnesota win essential), which may explain why we were only a #10 seed.