March Madness Snubs: Ranking the Five Biggest Losers of Selection Sunday
Selection Sunday 2022: Ranking the Five Biggest Losers
Every year there are dozens of teams that people think should make the NCAA Tournament but don't. After all, only 68 teams can make it and nearly half of those teams get automatic bids from winning their conference. What's fair is fair. Those that didn't make the NCAA Tournament didn't do enough this year to go to the Big Dance. Let's break down the five biggest snubs from the NCAA Tournament this year.
Ranking the Five Biggest Losers
Analytically, Oklahoma deserved to make it. At 18-15 on the year, I guess Oklahoma didn't do enough. The Sooners beat Texas Tech and Baylor this season but had so many more losses against top teams than wins. Still, Oklahoma would've been a tough out. The Sooners shot a 54.5% effective field goal percentage while hitting 57% from inside the arc. Then on the defensive end, Oklahoma was above-average, holding teams to a 49.1% effective field goal percentage while earning a high amount of turnovers and allowing just 26.3% offensive rebounds. To me, Oklahoma had the biggest snub.
2. Wake Forest
Wake Forest had an interesting year. The Demon Deacons beat Virginia Tech and had a win against Notre Dame, but after an opening round loss to Boston College in the ACC, Wake Forest didn't get the nod. The ACC was truly weak this year and that has something to do with Wake Forest not making it. However, Wake Forest shot the lights out of the ball, shooting an effective field goal percentage of 56.2%. From inside the arc, the Demon Deacons were elite, hitting 58.7% of twos. Turnovers were high and offensive rebounds were low but with 23 wins on the season in a power-five conference, seeing Wake Forest miss the Big Dance is deflating.
3. Oklahoma State
The Oklahoma State Cowboys had wins over Texas and Baylor earlier in the year and even defeated Texas Tech in the final regular-season game. But a 15-15 record was enough to keep Oklahoma State out of the playoffs. If the Cowboys ended up making the big dance, Oklahoma State would've put on a show and could've upset many teams in the tournament. The defense was one of the best in the nation, as the Cowboys held opponents to 45.7% effective field goal percentage of turning the ball over 22.8% of the time on the defensive end. However, on the offensive end, Oklahoma State was great on the offensive glass but shot terribly, hitting just 29.5% from deep.
4. Texas A&M
I feel a little bit bad for Texas A&M. The Aggies won seven straight games including three SEC Tournament games before losing to Tennessee in the SEC Championship game. Those seven straight wins and an SEC Championship appearance weren't enough to get into the NCAA Tournament. Texas A&M was so inconsistent this season. At one point, the Aggies lost eight straight games and nine of 10 in SEC play. Therefore, I understand where the committee is coming from. But ultimately, after watching the Aggies play in March, I thought they could've and should've gotten in.
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5. Utah State
Utah State went 8-10 in conference play in the Mountain West. So it makes sense why Utah State wasn't even in consideration. But this team beat San Diego State and Oklahoma throughout the regular season. Utah State also beat Richmond earlier in the year. The offense was solid, shooting 56.6% from inside the arc, and the defense dominated on the glass, holding opponents to 22.8% offensive rebounds. Utah State had two stretches where it lost four straight games. That's what hurt them.
Jason grew up an avid sports fan. His passion for sports writing grew in high school and he developed a blog that was strictly for New York Sports. From his work, you will quickly realize that he loves looking at games from an analytical and numbers perspective and hopes to provide you with that same perspective in his articles.