Whenever the Bracket breaks there are a few reactions everyone turns to. The first for most people is the actual filling out of the Brackets, which conveniently you can print out here. The second thing that some people look to is what teams were potentially hurt by the way the NCAA Tournament Selection Committee decided to seed teams this year’s Big Dance.
This is the latter.
Starting with the TCU Horned Frogs, a team I believe deserved an at-large bid the most — out of the teams that didn’t get in.. By no means was TCU’s resume worthy of a single-digit seed or anything, but the overall resume for the Horned Frogs was decent. They had 2 Quadrant 1A wins while picking up three Quadrant one wins overall. They also had a good overall record of 20-13, which mixed with a NET ranking of 52 probably, gets them in on most occasions. In addition to that, they also had zero losses to teams in Quadrants 3 and 4. Comparatively speaking, Arizona State had four losses to teams in Quadrants 3 and 4.
Personally, I’m glad to see Belmont in the tournament, as they are a team that I think can win a game or two in the Big Dance. I also think that the committee wanted to begin rewarding more mid-majors, which is what they did. It simply would have been nicer if it came at the cost of a team like Arizona State, who took bad losses, as opposed to a TCU team with a squeaky clean resume.
As for other teams that got left out, they had their opportunities, but there’s a reason for why each of the first few other teams don’t deserve to be in.
UNC Greensboro played well all season, but when push came to shove, they couldn’t beat Wofford. If you can’t beat Wofford once in three games, there’s not a good chance you were going far anyway.
Indiana had the quality wins needed, but a team with a 17-15 record doesn’t deserve to be in the tournament field. As for NC State, they played a non-conference schedule of 353. The committee shouldn’t reward you as a team for scheduling a bunch of cupcakes just to inflate your NET rankings.
Now that teams on the bubble have been taken care of, it is time to look at some teams who actually made the tournament, but got screwed.
The first teams that come to mind are Wofford and Seton Hall. Yes, these two teams will play in a game that I would consider must-watch. So why they are the subject of a “teams that got screwed article?” Well, it is because Seton Hall shouldn’t be a 10 seed. The Pirates had a bubble resume two weeks ago. However, they have since beaten Marquette twice, Villanova and Georgetown. This is a team that should be playing in an 8/9 game or on the 7 seed side of a 7/10 matchup — playing a great Wofford team could result in an early upset.
As for why Wofford, they are getting screwed because they have to play a red-hot Seton Hall team that should be seeded higher than they are. One of these teams will be out of the NCAA Tournament by Thursday and it could be because of the under-seeding of Seton Hall.
The last team I would like to bring up is Kansas State, who is seeded as a 4 seed, which is about right. They will likely be playing without Dean Wade early on in the NCAA Tournament, and as opposed to giving them an easier 13 seed like Saint Louis, the Selection Committee gave them the red-hot UC Irvine Anteaters, who are the best 13 seed and could easily pull off the upset. I think the Wildcats do have the experience needed to win even without Dean Wade, but it won’t be easy.
The final team I would like to touch on is the duo of North Carolina and Kentucky. Two teams that got a one and two seed in the Midwest Region, which seems fair at first, but then look who they might have to play against in the Sweet 16. North Carolina could play Kansas, while Kentucky will play Iowa State. Both of those fanbases will absolutely stuff the Sprint Center like they always do for the Big 12 Tournament. As a result, you could end up with a scenario where the two top seeds are playing in road atmospheres in the Sweet 16 or Elite Eight.
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