NCAA Selection Committee Strikes Out

By on March 16, 2016

 Monmouth Hawks bench players celebrate after a three pointer in the first half against the Georgetown Hoyas at Verizon Center. (photo Evan Habeeb / USA TODAY Sports)

Monmouth Hawks bench players celebrate after a three pointer in the first half against the Georgetown Hoyas at Verizon Center. (photo Evan Habeeb / USA TODAY Sports)

I love March Madness. It’s like Christmas…only it’s in the spring and we don’t get to open presents. Unless, the present is sitting around all day hoping that an 11 seed will upset a 6 seed or praying and begging for a 16 seed to eventually beat a number one seed.

This March Madness will be just as exciting and just as fun to watch, but it will be hard not to cast judgment upon certain teams knowing that the NCAA selection committee messed up, thus doing a disservice to us all.

First off, WHERE IS MONMOUTH? Not only do they have the most entertaining bench, the “Bench Mob”, but they also had an RPI of 53 to go along with a 2-1 record against RPI top 50 teams, having beaten Notre Dame and USC. Yes, they lost the conference championship game to Iona, but they finished the season 27-7, defeating Georgetown and UCLA on the road in route to a Mid Atlantic Athletic Conference title.

Yet, the committee chose to pass them up for…wait for it…TULSA! Tulsa! What did Tulsa do????? They finished the season 20-11 with a schedule that ranked as 165th toughest in the nation. To make matters worse, the Golden Hurricanes lost two games in 12 days by a combined 32 points. And the American Athletic Conference had the 8th best RPI in all of college basketball.

Secondly and lastly (as I am on a word limit), how the heck did Syracuse and Vanderbilt make the tournament? Combined they won 6 of 23 games on the road and had a 1-9 record against top 50 teams.
I wrote in a previous article, that in order for Syracuse to make the tournament, they needed to win two or three games in the ACC tournament. But they didn’t. They did not win a game, losing in the second round against Pitt. Yes they beat Duke this year and yes they were without Coach Boeheim for nine games, but does that justify putting the Orange in over a team like Valparaiso or St. Bonaventure?

I could write an entire essay about the travesty of the NCAA selection committee but instead, I will sit back, watch and enjoy the beauty of March Madness.

And while watching, I will know that with the bracket presented before us, that the NCAA told us what we already knew…Name recognition over records and RPI matter.

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