NCAA Selection Committee Has 99 Problems (And Most Are In The Big 12)
The NCAA Selection Committee thought they had silenced the critics (or at least made them quieter) but entering the 21st Century and using algorithms like RPI. But like Justin Bieber, the RPI is just a tool, and you need to know how to use it correctly if you're going to use it effectively. So thanks to its lack of understanding of data analysis and its blind love of the Big 12 Conference, the Committee may have substituted one set of bad justifications for another. This year, the Big 12 was given seven berths into the tournament, the most along with the Big 10. And on the first day, the Big 12 watched three of its teams lose, and two of those losses made the rest of the conference look bad. Or weak. Or badly weak.
Let’s check in on the Big 12 pic.twitter.com/yqGxBHIBw5
— Brian Hamilton (@BrianHamiltonSI) March 19, 2015
First, Iowa State (3) fell to UAB (14), and as we all know, three seeds should not lose. But they did. And it's not as if the Cyclones lost to a sneaky, Goliath-beater waiting to happen. UAB was 16-15 going into the Conference USA Tournament, and beat weak teams to get their berth. UAB was 129 in RPI and 0-5 against Top 50 teams. But then they got on the court today and played like a John Thompson Georgetown team, and smacked Iowa State around, winning 60-59. Big 12, 0-1.
— Steve Lawlis (@stevelawlis) March 19, 2015
Then, Baylor (3) played Georgia State (14), and there was no way lightning would strike twice and drop a three seed, right? I mean, c'mon, even Georgia State's coach had a torn achilles. But no, the Bears were up by 12 with less than three minutes left, and let Georgia State (I can't even tell you what their mascot is without looking it up) rattle off the last 13 points of the game to lose 57-56. Big 12, 0-2.
Iowa State had a RPI of 9. Baylor had a RPI of 10. Both can put the uniforms away for another year.
— Bryan Lazare (@bldore) March 19, 2015
Finally, Texas (11) lost to Butler (6), 56-48, and to be fair, that's the way that game should have ended (even thought Texas was down only 1 with less than 3 minutes to go). But also note that this is the seventh straight year Texas hasn't made it past the first weekend. Maybe they shouldn't be invited back.
Big 12 fans, remember saying the SEC was overrated the last 10 years? Here is your medicine pic.twitter.com/ZYeoOqJu6Z
— David Allen (@dasally18) March 19, 2015
Tomorrow, the Big 12 has a chance to redeem itself with Kansas (2), Oklahoma (3), West Virginia (5), and Oklahoma State (9) playing their games. But if Kansas or Oklahoma goes down, expect the RPI to go down with it. Oh, and Georgia State's mascot is the Panther.
Little freaked out. I foolishly took Georgia State and UAB. ND Arizona and Butler. How'd they do?
— Colin Quinn (@iamcolinquinn) March 19, 2015
Go Panthers! (and Kevin Ware!)
Photo via Getty
David Young has been a columnist for ESPN and Sports Illustrated and is one for SportsGrid. Follow him on Twitter @turkeysflying.
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