Normally, one of my favorite entries to prepare is the post-mortem on Selection Sunday. I get to make fun of the idiots behind the desks and poke holes in their weak attempts at championing some miserable “left-behind”. It’s also fun to look over the resumes and work out which items must have been most important to the Selection Committee. I’ve especially enjoyed pulling the bottom teams in the field and the top ones left out and going through their resumes with the team names removed.
But not this year.
There are a number of head-scratchers this year that I simply cannot justify…and it’s not even close. Last year, State was the “big” surprise, but we were able to see that the last few bids were basically a “crap-shoot”. But this year, I can’t defend a number of decisions made by the Selection Committee.
Sunday morning I rounded up Palm and Lunardi’s last four in and first four out and compiled their resumes. Then as the selections were announced, I added one more team to the list. So here is a table summarizing the items we normally consider as most important.
In no particular order, here are the things that stand out to me:
1) Once again we see that there is little/no value in discussing “bad losses”. If there were, then evaluating LSU’s two Top-25 wins along with five losses to 100+ teams (with two of those coming against 200+ teams) would be virtually impossible.
2) Once again, Miami proves that “20 wins” means nothing and that a winning ACC record means nothing. Lest anyone forget, that winning ACC record came against the easiest conference schedule this year and thus isn’t even worthy of serious discussion. Watching their performance down the stretch, it would have been an easy pick for me to leave them out.
3) How Texas A&M worked their way up to “First Four Out” on anyone’s list is a mystery to me. Their resume is far short of what we frequently saw during the days of the Herbble. Any team that falls short of that low standard doesn’t even deserve to be mentioned on Selection Sunday.
4) As much as it pains me to agree with Gottlieb on anything, he instantly nailed the insanity of not only selecting UCLA, but seeding them above the Last Four In. Their overall SOS is good, but their performance against that schedule is nothing extraordinary.
5) Other than liking the head coach, I can’t find any justification for selecting Dayton in any year and certainly not this year.
6) For me, Indiana is an easy pick but LSU is not. I’ve never paid much attention to wins against RPI #51-100, but LSU’s seeding suggests that we should.
7) It’s clear that the Socialists put two borderline mid-majors in along with the undeserving Dayton. How the Politburo included those teams and left out Temple is a complete mystery to me.
8) For my money, Temple is the only team with a clear, legitimate gripe at being left out. They played a good OOC schedule and ended up with a total SOS that is respectable along with decent results. Temple clearly has a better resume than either UCLA or Dayton and is virtually equivalent to BYU.
9) LOL at Davis whining about the “inherent advantage” of playing in a major conference. If ODU can play a meaningful OOC schedule, then there is no reason for me to think that other mid-majors couldn’t do the same.
I’m rarely tempted to take up the case for a mid-major, but Temple is going to be the exception. Substitute in Temple for any of at least three other teams and it would be easy to defend the other selections with something like “they had to pick someone”. But there is simply no excuse for excluding Temple.