NCAA tournament: Snubs and bracket flubs

Selection committee never gets it 100 percent correct; this year is no exception

There are games galore, enough to make your hair hurt. But Monday, in addition to being the day on which you fill out your inevitably incorrect, soul-crushingly inept bracket, is the day for a bit of outrage, for considering an imperfect system’s snub-ees.

Colorado. Virginia Tech. Northwestern. Boston College. They’re all out as the NCAA Tournament selection committee, despite having an expanded field to work with, seems to have generated more anger with its picks than ever. And that isn’t because the tournament has a decidedly Beastly appearance. If a college basketball team performed as poorly as the committee did, Jon Wilner writes, there’s no way it would get an at-large bid — unless, of course, that team was UAB.

"I wonder if some people on the committee know whether the ball is round," Jay Bilas told USA Today as ESPN, freed to criticize vocally because of the lack of an NCAA deal. "That sounds harsh. But I'm wondering. These were bad decisions. They're indefensible."

(Of course, there are snubs and there are snubs. Just ask the Maryland Terrapins, who were passed over for an NIT berth, and will miss the NCAA/NIT tourneys for the first time since 1993.)

The outrage doesn’t last long. There’s a crush of games ahead, with brackets to be completed, money to be lost and searing questions to ponder: What do I do with my bracket? (Turn to Junior!) Why were members of the Kansas team clapping as if they were watching someone hole out on No. 15 on the second day of the Masters when their berth was announced? Does that indicate that the Jayhawks are the perfect upset victim rather than the team everyone is picking to win it all? And ... can Gus Johnson possibly call every game, please? (He’ll do the George Mason-Villanova game at 2:10 p.m. Friday.)

After spending most of her career in traditional print sports journalism, Cindy began blogging and tweeting, first as NFL/Redskins editor, and, since August 2010, at The Early Lead. She also is the social media editor for Sports.
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