Screw You, SEC

March 16, 2009 – 3:05 am by Hickey

Every year, the NCAA tournament committee manages to make at least one glaring mistake. And we’re always here to call them out on it.

Last year, it was the comparatively minor violation of giving Butler the shaft when it came to seeding. Last year’s Bulldogs, who were clearly good enough to get a No. 5 seed (at worst) and were probably worthy of a 4-seed, instead got saddled with a 7-seed and ended up facing No. 2 Tennessee in the second round instead of a far more beatable opponent.

But at least the Bulldogs got to go to the Big Dance. This year’s San Diego State Aztecs will not get the same privilege after getting the shaft from the committee.

At first, it seems like the team to blame for San Diego State’s demise is Arizona, which appears to belong in the tournament about as much as the dude from Project Runway’s dick belongs in a vagina. The Wildcats are a weak-ass 19-13 and are stumbling into the tourney having lost five of their last six games.

Unfortunately, when you compare Arizona to the two teams who are considered by most to have been the last two left on the tournament’s doorstep — San Diego State and Saint Mary’s — the Wildcats have head-to-head wins over both. So even though Arizona’s RPI pales of 62 in comparison to that of San Diego State’s 35, their one meeting in the regular season was too much for the Aztecs to overcome.

Basically, Arizona got in by default more than anything. Yet there is still no question that San Diego State is still better than many of the teams in the field. The Aztecs have a better RPI than at-large teams such as Texas A&M (36), LSU (37), Cal (39), Texas (41), Minnesota (42), Michigan (44), Wisconsin (45), Maryland (54) and Boston College (60).

So who is to blame for this transgression? Of course there is the tournament committee, which claims not to look down conference lines even though its actions indicate otherwise. If the RPI rankings put a 35 next to a big-name program like Arizona or Maryland, do you think there is any chance that team would be left out?

But the primary culprit for bubble bursting is the Southeastern Conference. (Southern Cal is also to blame after winning the Pac-10 tourney, but at least the Trojans have talent. They just played below that talent all year because they’re coached by Tim Floyd.)

Maybe it’s time to start making the SEC a one-bid league. For the second straight year, some horseshit team has won the conference tournament to knock someone off the bubble, though at least Mississippi State looks somewhat respectable compared to last year’s run by Georgia. At any rate, you’re not going to find too many SEC fans outside of Kentucky who really care if their team makes it to the tourney. In fact, getting a bid might actually bother them because it interferes with the media attention given to spring football practice. So I think this might be a win-win for everyone. It’s more fun to pay attention to what stupid thing Lane Kiffin has just said anyway.

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  1. 8 Responses to “Screw You, SEC”

  2. I still don’t understand why Boston College got in, but that’s just me.

    By MJenks on Mar 16, 2009

  3. I thought I could place all the blame on USC?

    Leaving SDSU out is totally lame. I don’t know much about the selection process, but I thought it was, like, the model process everyone points to when something like the NFL playoffs or college bowl games are unfairly matched. Obviously, the NCAA Tournament is a bit fraked as well.

    By Red on Mar 16, 2009

  4. Yeah Boston College screwed SDSU. I will now stop before I go all “Know Nothing Party” and say things I’ll regret about Catholics.

    By Phillips on Mar 16, 2009

  5. In response to MJenks:
    Boston College had an above .500 record in the second-toughest conference in college basketball. If they hadn’t lost to Duke by just 1 point in the ACC quarterfinals, there’s a great chance they would have been been playing for the ACC tourney title on Sunday (after they likely would have beaten Maryland, whom they beat on the road earlier in the season, in the semis).
    Also consider their resume this season includes wins over Duke, FSU (both at home) and yes, North Carolina (on the road).
    That said, I should point out that I’m a UNC fan and am not really sure why I’m defending BC’s spot in the tournament so hard.

    By AK-47 on Mar 16, 2009

  6. BC also lost five of their last seven games. The UNC win came months ago. And their non-conference schedule is garbage.

    As for one point loss to Duke and maybe beat Maryland…they didn’t beat Duke and didn’t have a shot at Maryland. So, the what ifs are completely irrelevant.

    By MJenks on Mar 17, 2009

  7. I don’t have a real problem with BC since they do play in the toughest conference (the ACC also doesn’t have any gimme victories like most of the other conferences). I think Arizona made it simply because there had to be more than 4 PAC-10 teams that made it (outside of USC). Ken Pomeroy had the PAC-10 as the 2nd best conference behind the ACC and closer to first than the Big East was to 2nd.

    The real shocker was the fact that the Big Ten got in 7 teams despite being the 5th best power conference. Not sure why Minnesota (7-9 in conference), Michigan (8-9), and Wisconsin (8-8) deserved to make it (games against Div II Indiana shouldn’t count) although at least Michigan beat some good teams out of conference.

    By Tom on Mar 17, 2009

  8. You seem to missing the fact they also beat Duke and FSU. As for beating UNC months ago, you’re saying because you beat a team early in the season and not later in the season that makes you less deserving of something? That’s bs.
    And if you watched the Duke-BC ACC tourney game you’d realize there’s barely any difference in the quality of those two teams, and overrated as hell Duke was given a No. 2 seed.

    By AK-47 on Mar 18, 2009

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