Considering Wichita State went undefeated for more than four months and did everything asked of them (beat five tourney teams non-conference, actually played road games) …
While Arizona lost two games the final week, four overall, in a conference that’s probably not among the three best in America …
Why did the NCAA Selection Committee give the Shockers the most brutal bracket?
The New York Post, never a paper to mince words, believes the 35-0 Shockers were screwed. And there’s really no debate.
Let’s quickly examine the evidence:
To reach back-to-back Final Fours, Wichita State must play the preseason No. 1 team – Kentucky — this afternoon.
If WSU gets by Kentucky, the MVC Champs play the defending national champions Louisville – a team many felt could’ve been a top seed, as they played as well anyone the final month — 115 miles from their old Kentucky home.
Should the Shockers win their remarkable 37th consecutive contest in a virtual road game, WuShock likely plays Big Ten champ Michigan, who probably should’ve been a No. 1 seed and was national runner-up in last season.
The hardest road in history? The boys from southern Kansas deserved better.
Arizona, meanwhile, plays a West Coast conference team tonight, and with a win, takes on an offensively-challenged San Diego State, followed perhaps by a Wisconsin team who barely edged a No. 7 seed before a home crowd. If not the Badgers, then the ‘Cats play Creighton or Baylor in a game just 450 miles from the U of A campus.
As evidenced most years, the Selection Committee has a bias toward major conference teams while smaller schools get the shaft. Amazingly, results don’t always matter either.
Like Butler, George Mason, Virginia Commonwealth and others before them, Wichita State succeeded against all odds last year. On the contrary, teams like Duke and Syracuse continue to get preferential treatment based upon reputation over performance.
Duke lost in the first round for the second time in three seasons Friday and has only reached one Final Four the past 10 years. Syracuse, who reached only their second Final Four in nearly two decades in 2013, was also dumped by a “mid major” last night.
Unfortunately, memories are short.
Underachieving, overrated conferences like the ACC continue to benefit from a media (mainly ESPN) stacked with their alumni, and a committee looking not to reward guts and success, but rather money and power.
It doesn’t make me happy; it makes me less interested in college basketball.
And that’s the biggest shame.