For some teams Selection Sunday is a day to let out a sigh of relief and celebrate the opportunity to play in the greatest tournament in sports. For other teams, Selection Sunday is a day of disappointment and heartbreak. Many teams are left wondering what could have been.
The following is a look at five teams who narrowly missed being a part of the Big Dance:
Washington [21-10 (14-4), RPI: 70, SOS: 94]
For the first time, the regular season champion of one of the power conferences were left out of the tournament. The Huskies went 14-4 in conference, but lost their first game in the Pac-12 tournament to No. 9 seed Oregon State. The Huskies lacked resume wins, finishing with an 0-5 record against the RPI top-50. However, it is surprising to see a team like Iona sneak into the field over a power conference team that dominated their conference during the regular season and finished with 20+ wins.
Northwestern [18-13 (8-10), RPI: 59, SOS: 15]
Northwestern were the heartbreak Wildcats this year. Two overtime losses to Michigan, a two-point loss to Ohio State and a five-point loss at Indiana highlight what could have been for this team. At the end of the day, the Committee did not value the tough schedule and these close losses in excluding Northwestern from the tournament field.
Miami (FL) [19-12 (9-7), RPI: 60, SOS: 55]
The Canes had some impressive wins at Duke and against Florida State. However, they were 0-8 in their other games against the top-50. Miami failed to take advantage of their non-conference schedule, losing to Purdue, Memphis and West Virginia, all tournament teams.
Seton Hall [20-12 (8-10), RPI: 61, SOS: 57]
Despite the Big East getting nine teams into this year’s field, many believe the conference should have gotten one more in Seton Hall. It was likely the Pirates record down the stretch (5-10 in their last 15) and their 3-7 record against the top-50 that led to the snub.
Drexel [27-6 (16-2), RPI: 64, SOS: 248]
Strength of schedule and bad losses against Norfolk State, Georgia State and Delaware were the demise of the Dragons. Drexel won 25 of their last 27 games. However, only four of those came against top-100 teams: VCU, George Mason, Cleveland State and Princeton. After looking like a lock to make the tournament, the Dragons fell victim to poor schedule and coming from a mid-major.