Which teams have the biggest gripe?
Which teams have the biggest beef about being left out of the NCAA Tournament?
The 34 at-large bids have been handed out. The next question: Which teams on the "left out" list have the biggest gripes? (Hint: Drexel.)
Here are some of the prime candidates:
|Biggest at-large snubs|
Florida State: The Seminoles had zero bad losses -- all 12 of their L's were to teams in the RPI Top 50 -- but they only won five games against teams in that category. They beat Florida in nonconference play and won at Duke in ACC play for their best wins.
Syracuse: With 10 Big East wins, many people will be surprised by the Orange's omission, but a deeper look provides some answers. Cuse went only 3-7 against the RPI Top 50 and suffered home losses to Wichita State and Drexel in nonconference play. The Orange did win six of eight to close the season and were better than .500 on the road, but it wasn't enough.
West Virginia: West Virginia fans will forever lament the uncalled travel on Edgar Sosa at the end of regulation in the double-OT loss to Louisville that sent the Mountaineers to the NIT. WVU beat UCLA at home, but really didn't have a lot of strength behind that win in its profile. The Mountaineers only went 4-8 against the RPI Top 100.
Kansas State: The Wildcats become the first major conference team in this era to end with 20-plus wins, 10-plus conference wins and a fourth-place or better finish in league play and miss the NCAAs. The Wildcats were victimized by a contracting bubble, a weakish Big 12 North schedule and an even more barren nonconference slate.
Missouri State: For the second year in a row, Bears fans likely feel slighted, but this team's profile was not as solid as that of last season's team. They finished solidly in third in a top-six conference, but went 1-7 in games against the top competition they faced.
Air Force: Losses in their last four games undid a lot of good work from the Falcons. The nonconference schedule, though littered with routs of "name" opponents, didn't have a ton of significant heft beyond the big win at Stanford and their victory over Texas Tech in K.C. They were only 2-4 against the RPI Top 50.
Drexel: Despite nonconference wins at Syracuse, Villanova and Creighton as part of a profile that included 14 road/neutral wins, the Dragons likely were punished for their fourth-place finish in the CAA. Drexel might have been one of the teams really hurt by Nevada's and Xavier's losses in their conference tournaments. At least the committee didn't take Syracuse instead, but Drexel's omission is the most egregious of the bracket.
Appalachian State: The fighting Donte Minters were omitted despite a very strong profile since the Virginia transfer arrived in mid-December. With Minter, App State's RPI was around 40 and the Mountaineers had wins at Wichita State, at VCU, at Davidson, and against Virginia and Vanderbilt on a neutral floor.
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