A Wounded Tiger is left to die-LSU is left out of the field of 64
Picture this: The NCAA Basketball Selection Committee is mulling over some of the final selections for next year’s field of 68 (or whatever size they change it to) and they are trying to decide between Kentucky and Boston College. Both fine schools, but no doubt that Kentucky has tremendous history in college basketball and Boston College has had a few years of success also. BC has had a great year and they finish second in the Big East tourney, but Kentucky has a much higher RPI, but finishes 5th in the SEC East because the division and the conference are strong. The committee chooses Boston College and leaves Kentucky out of the field.
Only problem is, that will never happen in basketball.
The equivalent occurred today in the pairings that were announced by the NCAA Division 1 selection committee as they chose to leave LSU out of the field of 64 and instead chose St. John’s to take their place.
I have heard the reasons; let me share them with you (from the NCAA site):
- "I would say that this year, as a committee, we didn’t use RPI as the hammer that maybe it was in previous years," said Tim Weiser, the chairman of 10-member NCAA Selection Committee." (and in place of this you used….?)
(Committee chair Tim) Weiser also shot a hole in another part of LSU’s resume – its 12-3 finish. Seems like Tim has forgotten his roots (former athletic director at Austin Peay) Mr. Weiser does not mention LSU’s sweep against Cal State Fullerton, a tournament team as well as a victory over Southern Miss, another tournament team.
- "Six of the its late wins were against the 11th and 12th place teams (Tennessee and Kentucky) in the league," he said. "In addition, there were no real non-conference road games to consider, and there conference results were not strong enough."
I hear what he is saying, but when you go to the NCAA site and look at the respective team RPI’s there is no comparison:
St. Johns 54
My comment is this-if RPI means nothing, then let’s just use the Ouija board to pick and seed the teams. I know some people are tired of SEC dominance in collegiate athletics, but why punish someone for playing in the most challenging conference in College Baseball.
I feel sorry for Coach Paul Mainieri and the Tigers; Mikie Mahtook and crew belong in this tournament. The Tigers started three freshmen as their weekend starters because so many of their signees go pro. Is there anyone at St. John’s who has ever been drafted in the top 5 rounds, let alone the first round?
Enough of my rant; a crime has been committed here and the perpetrators will go unpunished. The real victims will be the fans, especially the LSU fans. They travel well and they would drive anywhere to see those Tigers play.
To the committee-get over yourselves. The object is not to be politically, or geographically correct (UCLA….). Your job is to pick the best teams with the best resumes and reward them.
Enjoy the tournament-I will…