2022 Selection Sunday: Rapid Reaction

Selection Sunday Rapid Reaction
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Selection Sunday has come and gone, and we officially have the 2022 Men’s Championship Bracket. 68 teams have earned the right to play for a championship. The hope is that COVID contingencies won’t be needed this time, though they are in place just in case. However, there seems to be less outrage and chaos about who was included. Still, that doesn’t mean there won’t be questions about the bracket. Perhaps you agree or disagree with the committee. Regardless, the teams will settle it on the court in just a few short weeks.

Rapid Reaction on Selection Sunday

What the Committee Got Right

Top Seeds

There won’t be many arguments on the teams that were put on the top line. The four teams selected were pretty much agreed upon by a majority of bracketologists. Gonzaga was the consensus top team in many brackets and metrics. Arizona fell right behind them. Then, Kansas and Baylor got the last two spots thanks to other teams not taking advantage of Baylor’s early exit from the Big 12 Tournament. Kentucky would’ve most likely gotten Baylor’s spot if they hadn’t lost in the SEC Semifinals. Instead, the Wildcats get a two seed.

Rewarding Good Mid-Major Teams

Too often, mid-major teams would get underseeded or overlooked by the selection committee. However, this year was a different story. Murray State was given a proper seeding after blowing through the OVC. San Francisco and Wyoming were included after hanging tough out west. Even Loyola-Chicago and Davidson got seeded above the 11 line. Perhaps one of these teams will make a run beyond the first weekend. Regardless, their inclusion in the field was the right call.

What the Committee Got Wrong

Tennessee on the Three Line

Apparently battling to win a tough SEC Tournament title wasn’t enough to convince the committee of a higher seed. Tennessee ended the regular season by dropping Auburn and Arkansas. Then, the Volunteers dropped Kentucky on their way to the tournament title. The profile includes a win over Arizona too. I don’t see how Tennessee wasn’t a two seed. It most likely had to do with not wanting to put three teams from the same league on the same line. Therefore, Villanova got the nod. However, it doesn’t change the fact that Tennessee was snubbed.

Boise State on the Eight Line

This isn’t as large of a contention, but Boise State as an eight is a little puzzling. The Broncos swept the regular-season and tournament titles in the Mountain West. Normally, that would warrant something like an eight seed. However, this isn’t a normal year for the Mountain West. The league got four teams in, including a six seed for Colorado State. I just don’t see how you reward that kind of success by getting pitted potentially against Gonzaga in the second round. The Broncos should’ve been on the seven line.

Selection Sunday Bubble Evaluation

The last four teams in according to the committee were Indiana, Notre Dame, Rutgers, and Wyoming. The most surprising thing here would be Indiana being closer to exclusion than originally thought. The Hoosiers’ win over Illinois seemed to put them safely in. However, that clearly wasn’t the case. Rutgers’ profile won out over their NET ranking, as the Scarlet Knights sat in the 70s heading into Sunday. That goes to show that the NET is a guide and not the law. Wyoming benefits from the strength of the Mountain West, while Notre Dame nearly missed because the ACC’s down year.

The first four teams out were Dayton, Oklahoma, SMU, and Texas A&M. Dayton’s profile included a win over top seed Kansas, and that helped keep them around the discussion. The Flyers were knocked out of the field by conference foe Richmond, who stole the Atlantic 10 bid Sunday afternoon. It was a double whammy, as Richmond did the same to Dayton in the A-10 Tournament. Texas A&M made a hard push in the SEC Tournament. However, the Aggies loss in the title game failed to get them in, and subsequently kept Wyoming in instead. Oklahoma had too many losses, while SMU’s weak non-conference schedule came back to bite them.

The NCAA Tournament kicks off with the First Four on Tuesday, and coverage of all the action from Tuesday through Sunday can be found on CBS, TNT, TBS, and truTV.

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