March Madness is officially underway as the field of 68 teams have been selected over the weekend to compete in the NCAA Tournament.
However, some of those 68 teams are undeserving of their spot in the “Big Dance”, wrongly taking the place of more deserving schools.
Take Oklahoma for example: Sure, the Sooners got off to a hot start to the season and were even considered one of the best teams in the country through their non-conference schedule.
But it didn’t take long for other teams to start figuring out how to stop the Sooners - all they had to do was stop Trae Young from scoring.
Soon, Oklahoma began to fall down the standings and at one point, lost six-straight games. In fact, the Sooners haven’t won a road game since December 12th.
Despite losing nine of their last 12 games to end the season, including a first round exit in the Big 12 tournament, the Sooners were granted a No. 10 seed in the NCAA Tournament with an overall record of 18-13 and a conference record of 8-10.
Not only should Oklahoma not have been given a seed as high as No. 10, the Sooners shouldn’t be in the tournament at all - especially at the expense of other schools who have much more impressive regular season resumes.
Here’s a look at three teams in particular who were snubbed from this year’s NCAA Tournament by the selection committee:
Biggest snubs from NCAA Tournament
Do you remember the last time a Top 25 ranked team missed out on the “Big Dance”? It’s happened four times since 1980, most recently in 2014 when SMU was snubbed despite being one of the best teams in the country.
The Gaels ended the season with an overall record of 28-5, including a West coast Conference record of 16-2. The knock on Saint Mary’s resume was a lack of signature victories over the course of the season, but the Gaels were ranked as high as No. 11 in the country at one point.
So this is a first, Saint Mary's makes the final @AP_Top25 but not the NCAA Tournament— Kevin McNamara (@KevinMcNamara33) March 12, 2018
An upset loss to BYU in the WCC tournament was the nail in the coffin for Saint Mary’s, but that does mean they should be punished for a late-season loss while Oklahoma get rewarded for starting the season off strong?
Speaking of Oklahoma, look no further than the inconceivable exclusion of Oklahoma State, who happened to defeat the Sooners twice this season, including a win in the Big 12 tournament.
The Cowboys finished the season with a 19-14 record and an 8-10 record in conference play. In other words, virtually identical to the Sooners except with one more victory and a better head-to-head record.
Fun fact: Oklahoma didn't win a single game away from Norman in the entire calendar year of 2018. Last one was DECEMBER! And they're in over USC, Oklahoma State, Middle Tennessee State and Saint Mary's? I get schedules are imbalanced. But c'mon man!— Aaron Torres (@Aaron_Torres) March 11, 2018
This isn’t to say that Oklahoma State deserved a high seed by any means, but the Cowboys didn’t even get a play-in bid while Oklahoma got a Top 10 seed.
Not having Middle Tennessee in the NCAA Tournament is wrong for a lot of wrongs. To put it simply, the Blue Raiders deserved at least a play-in bid in this year’s tournament.
After winning the Conference USA tournament in 2016 and 2017, Middle Tennessee lost in an upset to Southern Mississippi in the quarter finals. While it was a bad loss to have this late in the game, the Blue Raiders’ resume speaks for itself.
Just seeing the Middle Tennessee score. I'll tell you this: If Middle Tennessee isn't an at-large, let's blow up the system and start over. You simply can't tell me teams like Oklahoma, Notre Dame, Marquette, whoever are more deserving. You just can't.— Aaron Torres (@Aaron_Torres) March 9, 2018
With a 24-7 record, Middle Tennessee missed out on the NCAA Tournament for the first time in three seasons, meaning that America has been robbed of one of the NCAA Tournament’s Cinderella teams.
The Blue Raiders famously upset Michigan State back in 2016 in the tournament as a No. 15 seed and Minnesota a year ago as a No. 12 seed. Now bound to play in the NIT, Middle Tennessee will be missed in this year’s March Madness.
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