What is March Madness? 20-win Indiana State, 3 Among those passed over on Selection Sunday were Big East teams.

What is March Madness? 20-win Indiana State, 3 Among those passed over on Selection Sunday were Big East teams.

 

Indiana State has only ever won more games when Larry Bird was a member of the 1979 national runner-up squad. This time, the Sycamores won’t even be able to compete in the NCAA Tournament.

 

The Sycamores were passed over by the NCAA selection committee on Sunday, despite having 28 wins and a roster that featured five starters averaging double-figure scoring, including goggle-wearing big man Robbie Avila. The 68-team field also excluded Providence, Seton Hall, and St. John’s, three Big East Conference teams with 20 wins.

Oklahoma, Seton Hall, Indiana State, and Pittsburgh were the first four teams eliminated, according to the selection committee.

 

Southwestern Athletic Conference commissioner and committee chairman Charles McClelland claimed that five bids were pilfered by surprise winners in the conference tournaments. He stated that one of those would go to Indiana State, which finished right back on the bubble after losing to Drake in the Missouri Valley Conference Tournament.

 

“Normally, with those extra bids, they would have been in, but when you start chasing after hairs, you have to look for something, and that’s the main reason they weren’t in the field,” McClelland stated.

 

Despite not losing outside of Quad 1 games, Oklahoma (20-12) was left out of the Big 12’s conference-record eight teams that made the field. After a 15-3 start, the Sooners, who will play in the SEC, have lost nine of their previous 14 games.

Coach Porter Moser of Oklahoma said in a statement, “I am devastated for these young men who were left out of the NCAA Tournament, despite having a resume and metrics worthy of being in the field.” “I’ll talk more about our body of work and the selection process later on.”

 

Along with Pittsburgh and St. John’s, the Sooners turned down an invitation to compete in the National Invitation Tournament.

 

Indiana State (28-6) is the top seed in the NIT. The Sycamores, who average 84.4 points per game and have made a school-record 373 3-pointers, rank among the top scoring teams in the country.

 

Josh Schertz, the coach of the Sycamores, stated that his team performed well enough given its NET ranking of 28, and he believed the MVC was headed toward being a league that would receive many NCAA bids.

 

Schertz remarked, “So it’s beyond disappointing.” “We must rise tomorrow and prepare for the next chapter in our lives.”

Pittsburgh (22-11) started a run of 16 games with a victory over Duke and won 12 of them. One of the Panthers’ early defeats came at home against Missouri, a team that finished 0–18 in SEC play.

 

“I am immensely proud of our team’s performance, growth, and perseverance,” Pittsburgh head coach Jeff Capel declared in a press release. “Despite ranking well in the computers, playing well in conference play with a fourth-place finish and an ACC tournament semifinal appearance, and playing our best basketball over the last eight weeks of the season, we ultimately fell short of our goal of reaching the NCAA tournament.”

If St. John’s had advanced, coach Rick Pitino would have led his team to its sixth NCAA Tournament appearance. The NIT will not even see the Red Storm play.

 

Pitino stated, “We feel that, at this point, it is best for our team and basketball program to prepare for next season after careful consideration of everything that goes into postseason participation.”

 

The conference’s three selections are extremely high seeding, despite the fact that the Big East saw three 20-win teams rejected. The top overall seed is UConn, the defending national champion, followed by Marquette at number two and Creighton at number three.

 

Danny Hurley, the coach of UConn, whose team is ranked first in the East Region and the reigning national champions, stated, “I think the whole thing is kind of shell game.” “What matters in the end is what the committee believes in.”

 

Stephen Hawkins, an AP sports writer, also contributed.

 

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