CNNSI.com users sympathize with Florida
Posted: Wednesday March 22, 2000 05:08 PM
CNNSI.com asked users to rate the NCAA selection committee. Many users thought Florida should have been included in the field of 64 and that Michigan deserved a higher seed. A collection of some of the most interesting responses follows:
Can someone please explain how Michigan can get a No. 8 seed, while Illinois can get a No. 6? It makes absolutely NO sense. Michigan beat Illinois twice this season by convincing margins. Michigan has a better conference record and Michigan has a better overall record. Michigan IS ranked in both the CNN and the AP polls, while Illinois is not close to being ranked in either. And the selection committee somehow seeds the Illini TWO SEEDS higher? Someone has some explaining to do.
I've really considered whether my following opinion was biased and came to this conclusion.... NO WAY. Michigan has been extremely underrated all year long. They finished second in the Big Ten and lost in the conference semis to the eventual champion. An No. 8 seed? Huh? I understand that in their non-conference they couldn't beat the big powers (LSU, La. Tech) but an No. 8 seed still seems awfully low for the 2nd place team. And to top it off, Illinois gets a higher seed. No sense and no respect. Sue Guevera, Stacey Thomas, and the rest of the squad deserve better.
BC should be hosting the sub-regional, NOT Virginia. BC has a higher RPI rating (15 vs. 25), comes from a better conference, is rated higher in both the AP and ESPN polls, and beat Duke at Duke and resoundingly beat Kent; Virginia got blown out at Duke and got knocked off by Kent. Nonetheless, BC's certainly battle-tested enough to beat Virginia on their own floor in the second floor, as their battles with UConn, ND, Georgia, Rutgers, and Duke will ultimately serve them well. The selection committee gave every benefit of the doubt to the ACC (5 teams?!). Florida getting passed by for Clemson and Pepperdine was a total embarrassment. Duke gets a No. 2 seed, Virginia a No. 4, NC State AND North Carolina No. 5?! Clemson a No. 9 over UCLA and St. Joe's ? Somebody needs to strighten that selection chairwoman (from the ACC), because there were some travesties.
As usual we get the short end of the stick, a No. 16 seed vs. Georgia. The Big Sky never gets any respect. The Lady Griz are always winning the Big Sky conference, and we are always getting some lame seeding because all the media ever does is watch the east coast teams and never looks up here to see what were doing.
I'm glad to see that Louisiana Tech finally got a little respect from the selection committee. Usually they put Louisiana Tech in a region far from fan support (1999), give them a low seed (1998), or put them in the same region with the team that had been ranked all season No. 2 while Tech was ranked No. 1 (in 1996 Georgia and La Tech were put in the same region (the No. 1 and No. 2 ranked teams), but this year they were fair. So I would like to say a big THANK YOU to this year's selection committee.
It would be thoughtful of the NCAA selection committee to acknowledge either recognition of, or a total disregard for, the academic standards and/or qualifications of the schools that they select to compete in the tournament. It's obvious, even to the casual observer, that there are significant differences in the academic standards of the various schools. Schools with higher standards should be recognized. Some schools must reject some players who do not meet their more stringent standards. Other schools appear to have few, if any, academic standards. These are, in fact, schools that are competing. Give credit to those organizations with higher academic standards.
Iowa State should be a #2 seed, both Notre Dame and Rutgers don't deserve to be #2 seeds. It is very unfair that Tennesee continuely gets to play in the state of TN...it gives them a tremendous homecourt advantage even when they are not at Thompson-Bowling...the committee should really think hard about this situation, I know the gate revenue is great and TN has a ton of fans but they have played the regional in TN 2 out of the past three years. No other top team has had such an advantage for such a long period of time. Overall though I think the committee did a great job and the brackets are very balanced.
I know I'm biased, but I can not comprehend how Illinois was given a higher seed than Michigan. Playing in the same conference, Michigan had the better conference and overall record. Michigan had the better RPI. Michigan won both head to head match-ups by over 20. Michigan had the better record in the last 10 games. As far as I can tell Michigan was better in every criteria used by the selection committee, yet was given an No. 8 seed to the Illini's No. 6. This just does not make any sense to me.
Florida had an RPI of 20, an SOS of 5, and played a killer out-of-conference schedule (3-3 against tournament teams) in addition to the typical SEC gantlet. In the men's tournament, a team with that resume would be a No. 6 seed. Here, they're out.
Why did the PAC-10 champion "only" get a number 6 seed when all the other conference champs got a 3 seed or better????? No respect for parity I guess.
I think it is an absolute outrage that the Florida Lady Gators were left out of the tournament. With an RPI in the top 25, a strength of schedule rated as 5th toughest and playing in the best women's conference in the league, they deserved to be in. Sure, they only had 17 wins, but they played quality opponents, which included a win over Mississippi State. They lost 11 of 12 games to ranked, tournament opponents (loss to Kentucky was the only non-tournament loss). And how does a team such as Pepperdine, with an RPI of 70, in the 11th rated conference, get an at large bid over the Lady Gators. I guess they got shafted, just like Vanderbilt did on the men's side.
Northwestern State University wins 25 games, loses six, finishes in second in their conference, makes it to the finals of their conferences tournament (where they lost) and is not in the tournament. They played a quality preseason schedule winning the DePaul tournament, and their reward for doing this is the WNIT. If Stephen F. Austin had lost to NSU in the finals they would have got an at-large bid. This has been going on for the past four years for NSU and Coach James Smith has every right to be frustrated. It is not his fault that his team plays in a weak conference with just them and SFA as the top dogs year end and year out. The Lady Demons over the past three years have done everything the women's selection committee has told them what to do (Scheduling playing ranked teams in the preseason etc.) to make themselves more themselves more attractive for a at large bid. But as has been the case for the last 12 years the Lady Demons of Northwestern State get screwed again by the selection committee.
What does it take to get into the NCAA tournament. Does it take an RPI of 70 like Pepperdine? Does it take winning 20 games? Or does it take placing high in a highly rated conference? The University of Evansville Lady Aces did all of that. They were 23-6 on the season, RPI rating of 57, took second in the Missouri Valley Conference (Tied with Southwest Missouri State and one game behind Drake; Both of which are in.). One of the arguments is their schedule strength -- they beat the teams that they were supposed to and some that they were not. They completely dominated Drake at Drake, and Southwest at home. They steamrolled in the preseason and did all of the things necessary to get in. If you are going to at-large a team with an RPI of 70 you do not want the NCAA tournament to the best it can be because there were a number of teams better and more deserving of an invite. Evansville and Florida just to name a couple!
Arizona got shafted with an No. 8 seed. The Wildcats put together a 24-win season in a conference with much parity. They had wins over Stanford, Oregon and UC Santa Barbara, all of which are tournament teams. To give them an No. 8 seed where they'd have to play Tennessee in the second round is ridiculous, but with the talent they have -- I'll think they'll be up for the challenge.
Absolutely no respect is given to George Washington, even though they play in a conference with St. Joe's, Xavier, and UMass. GW finished 23-3 after a 2-2 start, and beat Arkansas, Rutgers, Santa Clara, Xavier, St. Joe's, and Seton Hall. GW won the A-10 West, and went to the championship game of the Atlantic 10. They finished No. 23 in the nation. A No. 7 seed for this team shows the preference of voters toward bigger names and larger schools. Now, the Colonials will have to play a near unbeatable Notre Dame team on their own court. That being if they can get past a very strong No. 10 seed in UCLA. GW has had one of the best women's programs in the 90s, yet few actually realize it. GW has made a post season tournament every year but one since the 1990-91 season, and has been ranked in the Top 10 numerous times. Next year, when GW has the 7th best recruiting class in the nation coming in, people will begin to respect the Colonials a whole lot more.
How could the selection committee give Tulane a sixth seed! That is ridiculous! How can a team in a major conference (C-USA,) who not only won their conference tournament but also beat some top-ranked competition, third seeded LSU comes to mind, be given a sixth seed? This is a team that went (26-4). I'm appalled at the way some teams got a beter seeding on sheer reputation. Tulane has a better record than three of the four three seeds, yet they're a sixth, give me a break1 Those girls worked hard, and they deserve better. But that's o.k., because Grace Daley, Jannelle Burse, and the rest of the girls will make believers of everyone.
Tulane a No. 6 seed? Do they think this team is no better than 24th in the nation? Having won CUSA? Having won the CUSA Tourney? Having beaten the likes of LSU (3 seed) earlier in the year? Give me a break! The polls have shown them no respect all year long, and neither did the committee. Grace Daley alone is enough of a player on her own to grant a No. 6 seed.
Explain to me why Oregon, as two-time defending Pac-10 champ, only merits a six-seed. Where's Stanford? Where's Arizona? Where's UCLA? The Ducks have been in seven NCAA women's tourneys in a row. It appears that the selection committee assumes the Pac-10 must be weaker, because the traditional "powers" are not on top of the heap. Sorry we don't make you as much money as the larger cities in the conference...and we'll be sure to apologize, when we get to the regional.
I strongly think that Florida should have been included in the field of 64. They have a really tough schedule. The selection committee said that 17 wins were not enough. To me your telling Flordia they would be better to play a weaker schedule so they could have more wins. I do not think a weaker is good for women's basketball.
I feel that with Pepperdine having an RPI rating of 66, they definitely didn't deserve an at-large bid. I mean, c'mon...how can you leave out a Florida team that played the 5th toughest schedule in the nation, plus they play in the most grueling conference in the country, day in and day out (SEC), and still come away with 17 wins? I'll tell you what, put that Lady Gator schedule up and make the Lady Waves of Pepperdine deal with it, and I guarantee that they wouldn't win TWELVE games! This has got to be the biggest at-large joke in recent memory..21-9 overall, and 12-2 in the 11th-ranked West Coast Conference? Gimme a break. QUICK NOTE: On December 18th, Florida beat Pepperdine 73-70.
I believe the selection committee made a big mistake in not giving the University of Evansville Lady Aces an at large bid. Following an NCAA tournament bid last year, the Lady Aces responded with an outstanding season this year setting a new school record for wins.
First off congrats to the Maine women. Second year they got an at-large bid. I thought Vermont deserved to be an No. 8 or No. 9 seed not an 11 seed. I also thought the committee made a big mistake not taking Florida over Pepperdine. Pepperdine women making it was shocking with a 70 RPI. The Florida Lady Gators deserved to go over Pepperdine. I also would have taken Wisconsin over Rice. I know Rice just won the WAC tourney, but their RPI was also very low and the WAC doesn't get an automatic bid. A case could be made for taking Colorado State over Nebraska as well.