Monday, March 14, 2011

The Snub List: Who should've made the NCAA Tournament and who didn't...

Every year there is the argument, team A should never had made the tournament and team B should have. But the NCAA Basketball tournament selections are done by people, not machines. That's what makes it the great event that it is.

And like every year, there are several teams sitting at home right now, palms upraised and shoulders shrugged saying: WTF!

And they wouldn't be wrong.

Teams such as: UAB (Alabama-Birmingham), 22-8 overall, 12-4 in their conference. They lost their only game against a Top 25 team, Duke blew them out 85-64. Really, there isn't a signature win here, they won their conference games(Conf. USA) and that's about it.

Clemson. 21-11 overall, 9-7 in the ACC. Face it. The ACC outside North Carolina and Duke, sucked this year. This is an average Clemson team. In fact, if you look at their history. This about where they normally finish every year. Again, no stand out wins...against anyone.

USC. 19-14 and 10-8. They won some games against Top 25 teams unlike the teams above, but lost some stinkers too. They are slightly above average in an average PAC 10. But they are in.

VCU. 23-11 and 12-6. One win vs. the Top 25. One of the worst rebounding teams in Division 1 (301st). Yeah, they beat a mediocre UCLA and George Mason in the conference tourney. Nothing else jumps off the page. But they are in.

And the outs. Or as you can call them "NIT Top Seeds":

Colorado. 20-13, 8-8. Yeah, they didn't play a great non-conference schedule. But they have a slew of Top 25 wins. Including 3 wins versus Kansas State. Did they lose a couple of games they shouldn't have. Maybe, but its hard to explain how they didn't get in. They did everything needed it seems.

Alabama. 21-11, 12-4. A little weaker of an argument, but they have one. Another crappy non-conference schedule did them in. Along with a really bad SEC West. Only 1 Top 25 win (Kentucky), probably didn't help.

Va.Tech. 21-11, 9-7. They are pretty much a carbon copy of Clemson. And yes, they should've been better, but this is always what they are. Every year. The perennial bubble team.  A good win vs. Duke in Feb. but nothing else jumps off the page. Yes, they underachieved, and ultimately that probably did them in.

Boston College. 20-12, 9-7. Yeah. Um. Well. They, Va.Tech and Clemson are pretty much the same teams...with similar results. Nothing this team did jumps off the page at you. But since they are in the ACC, the talking heads assume they should be there. We don't really by that and wouldn't consider this team on the Snub List.

Again, this is the reason we love the NCAA Basketball Tournament. It's subjective. They don't always get it right. But that is ok. We don't have a problem with that. Is the NCAA field the best its ever been this year? No it isn't. But this may be a good year for that very reason.

Here's a discussion on the Snub List from the boys at ESPN. Jay Bilas gained some respect with his argument. He's not wrong. You can argue either way...for any of these teams.

And Tournament Chairman Gene Smith explains the process to our friends at CBS Sports right here:

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