These teams were all on the bubble, but failed to make it into the field of 68.
There were not as many big upsets in conference tournaments this year. Many deserving teams were still left out of the field of 68. I was surprised a few times during the Selection Show, but I feel good about the field overall.
How many Big Ten bubble teams missed the cut?
Here is a list of bubble teams which had their bubble burst.
California Golden Bears (21-12) – I just don’t think Cal had any wins to hang their hat on. They only beat one ranked team all season and that was at USC, a team that is now also on the bubble. They played some tough opponents, but didn’t come up with a W in any of those games.
Georgia Bulldogs (19-14) – Georgia also had trouble making an argument for themselves. They lost to all the good teams and beat most of the average squads they played
Iowa Hawkeyes (18-14) – Iowa needed to win at least two Big Ten tournament games to deserve an at-large bid. They lost to Indiana in their first game and it wasn’t even close.
Syracuse Orange (18-14) – Syracuse could have made into the NCAA Tournament if they won a game or two, but they were beaten by Miami. Their RPI didn’t do them any favors with the selection committee.
Illinois State Redbirds (27-6) – The Redbirds went neck-and-beck with the Wichita State Shockers all season. They both finished the season with 17-1 conference records. ISU lost to Wichita State 71-51 in the Missouri Valley Conference tournament. The Redbirds also has one or two really bad losses. I guess those losses were too bad for the committee to punch their ticket.
Houston Cougars (21-10) – Houston could win a few games and get in the mix of bubble teams, but then would lose a game or two. They just hovered just below the elite bubble teams for too long. I think that was their undoing.
UNC Asheville Bulldogs (23-9) – Tied for the Big South regular season title. They were upset in the quarterfinals in the Big South conference tournament.
Charleston Cougars (25-9) – They were second place in the Colonial Athletic Association regular season. They then also lost in the conference tournament final to regular season champions UNC Wilmington.
Oakland Golden Grizzlies (24-8) – They tied for the Horizon League regular season championship. Oakland was upset by Youngstown State in the conference tournament quarterfinals.
Valparaiso Crusaders (24-8) – They tied for the Horizon League regular season championship. Valpo was upset by Milwaukee in the conference tournament quarterfinals.
Monmouth Hawks (27-6) – Monmouth were the MAAC regular season champions. They lost to Siena in the semi-finals of the MAAC conference tournament.
Akron Zips (26-8) – The Zips were the MAC East regular season champions. They lost to Kent State in the MAC tournament finals.
Belmont Bruins (22-6) – Belmont was the Ohio Valley East regular season champions. They only lost one regular season conference game. They were upset by Jacksonville State in the semi-finals of the conference tourney.
UT Arlington Mavericks (25-8) – They were the regular season champions of the Sun Belt conference. Texas State upset them in the semi-finals of the conference tournament.
BYU Cougars (22-11) – The Cougars finished third in the West Coast conference, but they did have one huge notable win, they were the only team to beat Gonzaga this season. Unfortunately for BYU, that was really their only marquee win. The committee had to pass on letting them into the Big Dance.
Bobby Roberts (otherwise known as Sweetbob) is the creator of ‘America’s White Boy’ and contributor at Project Shanks. His writing has been featured on ESPN’s ‘SportsNation’, Sports Illustrated’s Hot Clicks, Guyspeed, and various other sites. You can follow him on Twitter at @Sweetbob.