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Eight complaints about this year’s tournament

There are always a few reasons to pick on the selection committee for making the decisions they do about the NCAA Tournament, but while they may seed a team one or two spots wrong, and while they may make a controversial decision on one of the last one or two teams in the tournament; it is always easy to see why they made the decisions they did. This year was so bad though, it is hard to understand the selection and seeding process. The selection committee doesn’t have enough basketball people on it and the criteria is so inconsistent year to year that is makes it can be infuriating to see why these decisions were made.

There are a lot of grumbling this year, but here are eight complains about this year’s seedings and selections:

Yogi Ferrell led Indiana to a Big Ten regular season title, but the Hoosiers were only a fifth seed in the NCAA Tournament.

Yogi Ferrell led Indiana to a Big Ten regular season title, but the Hoosiers were only a fifth seed in the NCAA Tournament.

1. Little love for the Big Ten – Michigan State should have been a No. 1 seed, but while seven teams got in from the Big Ten, the Spartans were the only team seeded above a fifth seed. And yes, that included Big Ten regular season champions Indiana, which despite winning six games against Top 50 teams, got only a five seed.

2. Gonzaga was only in because they won the WCC – Some might have said the Connecticut Huskies were only getting in the tournament because they won the AAC tournament, but a No. 11 seed proves that the Bulldogs would have seen their run of NCAA Tournaments end at 14. But now that they are in, they are a dangerous double-digit seed capable of making a run. They have a lot of talent. The problem is, Connecticut was assumed to be a team that wouldn’t get in the tournament unless they won their tournament. They ended up doing it with a miracle shot helping them along, but they are No. 9 seed. They were in it from the beginning.

3. What is Tulsa doing in the tournament? – Usually, you can always see why a team got in the tournament, even when they are one of the last teams in, but it is hard to see a reason why Tulsa is in the tournament. They are 61st in RPI with only three top 50 wins, has a mediocre strength of schedule, poor non-conference strength of schedule, and were just blown out in their conference tournament but a team that isn’t in the tournament; it’s hard to figure it out.

Monmouth's resume was fantastic, but the mid-major was passed over for some questionable high-major programs.

Monmouth’s resume was fantastic, but the mid-major was passed over for some questionable high-major programs.

4. Monmouth is another example of a small guy getting forgotten about – While Tulsa got rewarded for a mediocre season in a mediocre at best conference, Monmouth did everything they were supposed to do, but got passes on. Monmouth played 23 games away from home and led the nation in road victories, which included wins over Notre Dame and USC. Maybe their wins over Georgetown and UCLA don’t look all that amazing now, but this is a team that did what they were supposed to do as a mid-major to get in the tournament, but were passes on. It’s a shame.

5. Regular season title means nothing for Saint Mary’s & SDSU – The Gaels went 27-5 and were 38 in RPI, won the West Coast Conference regular season title, beat Gonzaga twice, but their loss to Gonzaga in the title game cost them a spot in the tournament. San Diego State won the Mountain West regular season title, but a down year for the historically great mid-major conference killed SDSU’s overall strength of schedule and makes their 25-9 overall record and 16-2 conference record mean nothing.

6. Tough year for Mid-Majors – It was not only that Monmouth, Saint Mary’s, San Diego State and St. Bonaventure didn’t get in the tournament while mediocre major conference teams like Michigan, Tulsa, Syracuse and Vanderbilt all got in, but the best mid-major teams got rough draws in the opening round. Everybody loves the upsets, but Hawai’i was a potential Giant Killer but face a Cal team that may be the most talented in the country. Stephen F. Austin faces a very dangerous West Virginia Mountaineers team, Iona has to play a similar but more athletic Iowa State teams and Yale gets stuck with a super athletic and big Baylor squad. There will be upsets, but while usually these top mid-major teams get vulnerable high-major opponents, this year’s questionable seeding has given them very tough matchups.

Kentucky beat Texas A&M in the SEC title game, yet got a lower seed than them. Clearly they selection committee didn't consider the result of that game when seeding the tournament.

Kentucky beat Texas A&M in the SEC title game, yet got a lower seed than them. Clearly they selection committee didn’t consider the result of that game when seeding the tournament.

7. Duke gets name love – Duke is very over-seeded at No. 4 and so many teams below them deserve a higher seed to make it even worse. Duke, to their credit, has four top 25 victories, but they also has eight top 50 losses. They lost four of their last seven games and just aren’t anywhere near one of their best teams they’ve had. Duke struggles defensively and is more a seventh-seed than a fourth-seed.

8. Selection Sunday championship games mean nothing – John Calipari said it well when he asked why his conference was playing their conference championship game on Selection Sunday, because it apparently does absolutely no favors for the conference. Kentucky had a convincing win over Texas A&M in the SEC Championship game, yet somehow Texas A&M got a third seed and Kentucky got a fourth seed. So it seemed that the committee had the tournament seeded and just ignored that game. And same thing could be said for Michigan State. They won the Big Ten Tournament just a few hours before the bracket was released, and they only got a No. 2 seed when it was pretty clear they should have been a No. 1 seed. Clearly the Sunday championship games did nothing to help those conferences.

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Corey Johns

Editor in Chief
You could say Corey was born to become a sports journalist. His father won a national championship coaching college soccer. His mother is a baseball fanatic who hasn't missed seeing an Orioles game since 1983 (literally, sometimes it's annoying). His great uncle was a big-time boxing promoter and his maternal grandfather was once a department head at the Baltimore Sun. Basically, sports and journalism run through his blood. He played just about every little league sports there was when he was a kid and was a multi-sport athlete in high school; even playing in the first-ever high school sanction Rugby game in the country. Eventually he retired from sports as an undefeated Maryland state Rugby champion as a high school senior. Perhaps lack of athletic talent has more to do with the retirement, but he will tell you that it more had to do with a great desire to jump right into media. Upon his graduation from University of Maryland, Baltimore County as a triple communications major, Corey started the So Much Sports network and has continued to grow his websites and continues to work to make them premier sports media outlets.

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