Selection Sunday is one of the most anticipated days of the entire college basketball season as teams find out if their season lives on or gets cut short. Many teams from around the country dream of going dancing in March. Some teams know they are a lock, while for others the uncertainty eats at them all day long.
The best reactions come from the bubble teams that get in. On the other hand, it’s a feeling of heartbreak for the ones that don’t. The selection committee can’t take everyone, but there are always a few teams left on the outside looking in that definitely should have made the cut. Many teams’ at-large bids were stolen by teams that won the crown in their conference tournaments and here are a few teams that probably felt they deserved a chance to dance:
1. Indiana Hoosiers (17-15)
The Big Ten saw many teams in their conference receive bids such as Michigan St, Michigan, Minnesota, Maryland, and more. Many thought they would steal a bid also, having beaten a powerhouse program like Michigan St, not once but twice. They also defeated Marquette and Louisville early in the season, and have a stud in Romeo Langford who many wanted to see shine in the tournament. Unfortunately, losing 12 out of 13 games at one point in the season, and bad losses to Rutgers and Northwestern made the selection committee turned their heads the other way.
2. North Carolina State (22-11)
With the new controversial determinant set in place this year, the Wolfpack looked to be huge supporters of the NET metric as it ranked them top 35. However, most of their wins teams that were not very good. They only posted three Quad 1 wins while have the second worst non-conference strength of schedule in the country. Many Wolfpack fans felt this team could make a run just like the late Jimmy V’s team did in ’83. While a 22-11 is impressive, the selection committee was not fooled by the illusion created by a team that was destroying low quality teams by eye-opening margins of victory. A 9-9 in-conference record showed their true colors.
3. Georgetown Hoyas (19-13)
Going into Sunday, this was a bubble team that I predicted would sneak into the field. After posting an impressive win over our very own Seton Hall Pirates, I believed they had a convincing case. They had five Quad 1 wins this season including both Marquette and Villanova. However, their 250thnationally ranked non-conference schedule and bad losses to Loyola-Marymount and SMU, keep Hall of Famer Patrick Ewing’s squad out of the field.
4. TCU Horned Frogs (20-13)
This group of kids fought hard all year long. Their strength of schedule was ranked in the top 35 in the country, while playing in arguably the toughest conference in college basketball, the Big 12. They also swept Iowa State in the regular season, who ended up winning the Big 12 Tournament. Some argue that they should have had more than 3 Quad 1 wins. They really had no bad losses this season but losing seven of your last 10 games does not really help your case.
5. UNCG Spartans
This is a team that looked like they had a legitimate shot to go dancing. However, Oregon winning the Pac-12 tournament most likely left them pretty upset on Sunday night. Early in the season, they had a soul-crushing loss by six to No. 12 LSU, followed a disappointing loss to No. 7 Kentucky a few weeks later. You have to admire the heart they played with all season leading to their 28-6 record. They did not really have any bad losses besides losing twice to Wofford, just not enough good wins apparently.
6.Alabama Crimson Tide (18-15)
The Tide picked up quality wins early in season against Kentucky and Murray State. In all honesty though, that was Murray State before they were “Murray State.” They also did pick up a Quad 1 win over Ole Miss in the SEC tournament. They could not pick up a win against LSU, Tennessee, or Auburn all season. In similar fashion to TCU, Alabama also lost seven of their last 10, but that paired with a below .500 conference record ultimately ended their season.