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March Madness 2022: Five Tournament Teams That Got Absolutely Hosed on Selection Sunday

The almighty NCAA selection committee made good on its annual commitment to screwing teams and even entire conferences over as Selection Sunday yielded plenty of mind-blowing results in the March Madness 2022 bracket.
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March Madness 2022: Five Tournament Teams That Got Absolutely Hosed on Selection Sunday

On Sunday, the full 68-team bracket was officially unveiled for the 2022 NCAA Men’s Basketball Tournament. Affectionately known as “March Madness”, the NCAA Tournament delivers year in and year out in terms of excitement, nail-biting finishes, and, of course, upsets! The unpredictability of 68 teams playing in a single-elimination format never fails to deliver some shocking results.

Every year, Selection Sunday ultimately puts to rest any number of debates involving a countless number of teams. To say that the NCAA selection committee is truly the best judge and jury to rule on such debates is silly, but we digress. 

Several teams won and lost big time on March Madness 2022's Selection Sunday as is always the case. This article discusses five of the biggest losers from Sunday night’s unveiling of the March Madness bracket.

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Five Biggest Losers on Selection Sunday

UCLA Bruins

Considering how the selection committee and several college basketball analysts are treating UCLA, it’s hard to believe that it was only last year that the Bruins made the Final Four. In the 2022 NCAA Tournament bracket, Mick Cronin’s team drew the 4-seed in what is unequivocally the toughest region.

Mind you, this is the same UCLA team that finished the year ranked No. 10 in the College Basketball NET and No. 8 in the KenPom ratings. The same team that finished runner-up in both the Pac-12 regular-season standings and conference tournament. The same team that returns Johnny Juzang, Tyger Campbell, Jaime Jacquez, and others from last year’s Final Four team. Yeah, it’s a pretty big gut punch.

In many respects, the entire Pac-12 Conference could be classified as a Selection Sunday loser in 2022. Last year, the Bruins were one of three Pac-12 schools to reach the Elite Eight. This season, a total of three teams from the Conference of Champions are in the Field of 68 at all. Despite proving their metal in the NCAA Tournament itself a year ago, the typical narrative that the Pac-12 sucks sadly continued to reverberate all season long. 

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Gonzaga Bulldogs

Whatever happened to the top overall seed in the NCAA Tournament having the easiest road to the Final Four? Gonzaga may have scored the top seed in the bracket again this season, but Selection Sunday 2022 really felt like a loss for the West Coast Conference powerhouse. Relative to the other regions in the bracket, the Bulldogs will arguably be playing in the second-toughest. 

While we can safely pencil in a win for Gonzaga in the First Round against 16-seed Georgia State, even that matchup is quite pathetic. Relative to other 16-seeds, the Sun Belt Conference champs are a much more formidable opponent. From there, however, nothing will come easy for the Zags. If chalk were to hold all the way through the West Region, the Bulldogs would have to go through each of Boise State, Arkansas, and Duke just to reach the national semifinals in New Orleans.

For the sake of argument, let’s suppose some minor upsets occur in each part of the bracket. The alternate route for Gonzaga would then include Memphis, UConn, and Texas Tech. Needless to say, the No. 1 overall seed didn’t catch a single break this year.

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Boise State Broncos

We stay in the West Region of the 2022 March Madness bracket for our next Selection Sunday loser. While most people aren’t necessarily anticipating a national title run out of Boise State, Leon Rice’s ball club sure got the shaft when it comes to seeding. If the selection committee is correct in its assessment, the Broncos are technically the worst of four 8-seeds in the field. Every 8-9 matchup is tough, and getting past Memphis will be no easy feat. Should the Mountain West champs prevail, they would immediately have to go up against Gonzaga in the Second Round.

The primary reason why Boise State is classified as a Selection Sunday loser is the precedent set by the committee with regard to other Mountain West teams in the bracket. For those who may not have followed the conference all season long, note that the Broncos won both the regular-season and tournament titles. Yet, they aren’t even the highest-seeded MWC school in the bracket. In fact, Boise State landed two whole lines lower than 6-seed Colorado State! Talk about disrespect. Or maybe this was just a whiff on the committee’s part? Either way, it’s a tough break for the Mountain West champs.

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American Athletic Conference

The American Athletic Conference foolishly tried to brand itself as a “Power 6” program in college football. Well, the gridiron is a very different story than the hardwood. While the AAC was not at its best in basketball this season, it’s hard to agree that they were as bad as the selection committee made them out to be in the 2022 March Madness bracket. Other than Memphis, which has the allure of NBA prospects and a flashy head coach in Penny Hardaway, the rest of the American got the shaft on Selection Sunday.

Of course, the obvious loser here is SMU, who failed to claim a spot in the Big Dance at all. The Mustangs finished the season ranked 44th in the College Basketball NET, beat 9-seed Memphis twice during the regular season, and also took down conference champion Houston. Mustangs point guard Kendric Davis was named the AAC Player of the Year. Yet, SMU will have to settle for the NIT.

Oh, and speaking of Houston, the committee gave Kelvin Sampson’s squad the shaft big-time as well. It was just last year that Houston was a 2-seed and advanced all the way to the Elite Eight. Based on the metrics, the Cougars were arguably even better this season. Somehow, a No. 3 NET ranking and No. 4 overall ranking according to KenPom were only enough to land Houston the 5-seed in the South Region. Yikes!

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Tennessee Volunteers

The committee has received widespread criticism from various talking heads for posting SEC Tournament Champion Tennessee as a 3-seed. Not to hop on the bandwagon or anything, but the gripes are 100% justified. Rick Barnes’ team not only won the conference tournament but dominated in the title game against Texas A&M (who also was a Selection Sunday loser by virtue of somehow not even making the field). The Volunteers finished the year ranked No. 8 in the NET and No. 7 overall in the KenPom ratings. 

From a defensive efficiency standpoint, Tennessee was one of the three best teams in college hoops all season long. Much like the hypocrisy of Boise State being an 8-seed when compared against other teams who made the bracket from the Mountain West, the Vols are seeded a full rung lower than two SEC cohorts in Kentucky and Auburn. All Tennessee did was the beat UK twice late in the year including in the SEC Tournament Semifinals. The Vols also knocked off Auburn late in the regular season and the Tigers were one-and-done in the conference tournament. 

So yeah, did anyone else feel like their intelligence got insulted multiple times on Selection Sunday? Please tell me I’m not the only one!

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Henry has had a passion for sports that few can match for as long as he can remember. What started out as a five-year-old taking interest in the New York Jets and their green jerseys has since become a full-fledged career as a writer and sports betting analyst. His coverage primarily includes the NFL, MLB, NBA, NASCAR, college football, and college basketball. In 2020, he ranked among the top-10 most accurate experts ATS in the BettingPros NFL season contest. You can follow Henry’s sports work on Twitter and other social media platforms @HankTimeSports.


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