Here Are This Year’s 5 Biggest NCAA Tournament Bracket Snubs

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Center Clifford Omorui and Rutgers are out to watch the men’s NCAA tournament. (Kamil Kraszynski / USA TODAY Sports)

For some unlucky teams each March, Selection Sunday becomes Rejection Sunday. They gather to watch the unveiling of the NCAA men’s tournament bracket, only to suffer the heartache of Greg Gumbel not naming them.

This year, bubble teams of every flavor were waiting to know their fate. The NCAA tournament in some marches escalated into controversy. Others spit on the leaking oil and missing parts on Selection Sunday. Some were barely over .500 but played tough schedules. Others had shitty records but few quality wins to show for it.

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The NCAA tournament selection committee ultimately awarded this year’s last -large bids to a trio of middling power-conference squads and a Mountain West team that dropped its last three games entering Selection Sunday. Pittsburgh, Mississippi State, Arizona State and Nevada will all be in Dayton this week to play in the First Four.

Rutgers was the most surprising exclusion from the NCAA tournament field, but the Scarlet Knights weren’t the only team that let down their team party. Here’s a look five of Sunday’s biggest fights:

1. rutgers (19-14, 10-10, Net: 40, Kenpom: 35)

Nearly every mock bracket projected the Scarlet Knights to make the NCAA tournament, but their unusual profile always left them vulnerable. This was a team that did not challenge itself in non-league play and showed that it could beat and lose to anyone during the Big Ten season. On the one hand, Rutgers won Purdue in January to push the Boilermakers into the Big Ten quarterfinals again. The Scarlet Knights also won at Penn State and defeated Indiana and Maryland. On the other hand, Rutgers’ 2–4 record in Quadrant 3 games was the worst among bubble teams. The Scarlet Knights were one of only three Big Ten teams to lose to last-place Minnesota. He also missed games at Nebraska, Temple and Seton Hall.

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2. Vanderbilt (20-14, 11-7, Net: 81, Kenpom: 80)

Vanderbilt has been the 30th best team in the nation since February 1, according to Bart Torvik’s T-Rankings. The Commodores won 10 of their last 12 games, including a pair of wins over Kentucky and singles wins over Mississippi State, Auburn, and Tennessee. If the committee takes the 68 best-playing teams on Selection Sunday, Vanderbilt will be a lock. The problem is that the committee evaluates an entire body of work, meaning that the Commodore’s grooving and early home loss to Southern Miss worked against them, as did their extremely low No. 81 net ranking and No. 80 KenPom ranking. Ultimately, Vanderbilt 2022 was Texas A&M. Just like those Aggies, he made his move too late.

3. Oklahoma State (18-15, 8-10, NET: 43, KENPOM: 38)

When Oklahoma State coach Mike Boynton posted an open letter to the committee on social media on Friday, there was a hint of frustration. Boynton cited Oklahoma State’s eight wins in the Big 12 as “historically good” and that “we certainly deserve to be in the NCAA tournament”. Alas, what Boynton conveniently overlooked Who Oklahoma State won eight games. The Cowboys went a disappointing 0–9 against the league’s top four teams. They needed 18 Quadrant 1 games to get to their six Quadrant 1 wins. Even coming from a league that was arguably the best league in the country this season, missing too many opportunities doomed Oklahoma State.

4. Clemson (23-10, 14-6, Net: 57, Kenpom: 64)

There’s a lot to like about Clemson’s resume. The Tigers were the rare bubble team with records above . 500 in Quadrant 1 and 2 games. They defeated Penn State, defeated Pittsburgh and Duke, and won three games over fellow bubble team NC State. They went an admittedly down 14-6 in the ACC. So where did it all go wrong for Clemson? 334-ranked non-conference schedule, always a point of contention for the selection committee, and a terrifying array of Quadrant 3 or 4 losses. You can’t drop a game to 28-loss Louisville and expect to make the NCAA tournament, let alone even fall to South Carolina, Boston College and Loyola Chicago.

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5. North Carolina (20-13, 11-9, NET: 46, KenPOM: 47)

North Carolina made some painful history on Sunday night. The Tar Heels became the first AP preseason No. 1 team to miss the NCAA Tournament since the field expanded to 64 in 1985. march. The Tar Heels went just 2-9 in Quadrant 1 games – and one of those wins came against an Ohio State team that ranked second to last in the Big Ten. When North Carolina a defensive struggle to Virginia in the ACC quarterfinals, the Tar Heels seemed to have found their destiny. When asked if he had a “pitch” on why his team deserved an NCAA bid, Hubert Davis bluntly said, “ the of the day, we had a chance.”