Five Teams That Got Snubbed Who Deserved To Be In The NCAA Tournament

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With only 68 slots available in the NCAA tournament, there are always going to be teams that feel like they were overlooked when the field is announced. However, there are some legitimate gripes from some teams who were left out this year. Among the teams left out of the field, which ones have the right to claim that they were snubbed? 1) Virginia Yes, Virginia did lose to three teams from the Colonial Athletic Association. However, the Cavaliers did defeat Duke and N.C State during the regular season. Typically, any team that goes 11-7 in a power conference such as the ACC deserves to go to the tournament. This is even more true when you consider teams such as Middle Tennessee State were given at-large berths into the tournament. 2) Tennessee A late season loss to Georgia probably sealed their status as a team going to the NIT. It was a bad loss at a bad time for a team that needed to win every game they could to qualify for the tournament. However, Tennessee had wins over a ranked Kentucky team as well as a top 10 Florida squad. Their 11-7 record in the SEC may not look as good as it would have in another conference, but Tennessee deserved to get into the final play-in game as opposed to Boise State or Middle Tennessee State. 3) Southern Miss At first glance, they look like a team that deserved to be left out of the field. They had some bad losses early in the season and didn't do much to dispel the notion that the Eagles were a good team by losing to Memphis three times. On the flip side, you look at a team like St. Mary's that lost to Pacific early in the season and lost to Gonzaga three times in conference play. How do you say that Southern Miss deserves to be left out while St. Mary's gets in despite having the same type of resume? 4) Maryland It would appear that their victory over Duke in the ACC quarterfinals would have been enough to put them in the field. Combined with a 22-12 overall record and no bad losses, the Terrapins deserved to be in the field this year. Unfortunately, the selection committee determined that they were better suited to play in the NIT. Apparently, it is not a good thing to finish below .500 in conference play if you have aspirations of playing for a national championship at the end of the year. 5) Alabama If Tennessee can be considered a snub, Alabama should be on the list as well. When they defeated Tennessee in the SEC tournament, that should have clinched their ticket to the tournament. Instead, they too will be playing in the NIT to close out their season. Although it is unforgivable to lose to schools such as Mercer or Tulane, they also had a victory against Kentucky late in the season. Additionally, they finished 8-4 in their final 12 games including the conference tournament. It could be argued that they deserved to be there over a Boise State team that was fifth in the Mountain West Conference. There are always going to be gripes from teams left out of the field. That will happen when there are only 36 at-large spots and more than 36 teams that deserve to be in the field. Unless you want to get rid of the small schools that only get in thanks to the automatic bid, expand the field to 256 teams or base the results only on regular season performance, the NCAA selection committee will never please anyone. Of course, that only adds to the fun of the event. By Don Phan: A part-time sports writer and lifelong Chicago sports fan.


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