Selection Sunday has come and gone and the brackets for the NCAA Tournament are set. Before the Madness of March really kicks off and we go and start filling out our own brackets (which will last an average of three games for many), let's take a moment of silence for the teams which didn't make it.
Every year there are teams on the bubble who for one reason or another, get left out of the dance. Sometimes it makes sense, while other times it seems like a huge oversight on the part of the selection committee. Of course paired with those teams are always some that befuddle us as well-how on earth did UCLA make it in for example, with a 2-8 record against the top-50 and a 5-10 record against the top-10, while Colorado State was left at home or heading to the NIT (more on that in a slide or two)?
It's often a combination of automatic bids and RPI, but sometimes teams get in on 'feel' and other intangible things, UCLA being one of those because they got in as they were 'hot.'
Whatever the reason, these teams will probably look back at this Sunday with more than a little bitterness and righteous indignation. Some of them rightfully so.
A while ago I wrote a piece on the rebirth of the Big East and got an emailed complaint that said that while the emailer was happy I thought the Big East was back, why did I say their team was not guaranteed a spot in the dance?
As I pointed out, a high RPI is nice and some quality wins are dandy but if you aren't 1) ranked in the Top 25 or 2) the winner of a conference tournament with an automatic bid, nothing is promised.
Ultimately, if you want to guarantee a spot on the dance floor, win and get ranked. That worked for the team in question and is the only guarantee under the sun on selection Sunday.
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