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Men’s NCAA DI Tournament: Snubs & Surprises

Surprises

Duke Gets the No. 2 Seed The Blue Devils had the No. 4 RPI going into Selection Sunday, so it wouldn’t have been a surprise to see them seeded No. 4. But wins head-to-head wins over Virginia and Penn gave them an edge. It doesn’t hurt that they also racked up three Top 10 wins (Notre Dame, Towson, Loyola) and two Top 20 wins (Denver, Richmond) as well.

Loyola Hosts Syracuse It’s almost a tradition now that Syracuse hosts the last game of the First Round of the NCAA Tournament. This year the selection committee saw it otherwise, putting the Orange on the road against No. 8 seed Loyola. It’s hard to argue against the decision, however. Syracuse had the 10th-best RPI, lower than the Greyhounds, and both teams’ resumes are otherwise comparable. Time to fire up the Winnebagos ’Cuse fans.

Snubs

Cornell The Big Red held the 12th-best RPI, two top 10 wins and no real bad losses during a 10-5 season. Unfortunately for Cornell, too much went against them in the final few weeks for their resume to qualify. They didn’t take care of business in the Ivy League Tournament, though understandably that was a tough go having to face Yale. Outside of their control, Loyola’s loss in the Patriot League Semifinals sapped an at-large opening that would have otherwise gone to the Big Red.

High Point The Panthers presented one of the more unique resumes for Tournament recognition, going 13-3 and posting two Top 5 wins against Virginia and Duke. However, they slipped up too many times, racking up bad losses to St. John’s and to Jacksonville, then losing in the SoCon title game to Richmond. It’s a tough blow for what was otherwise a great season.

Denver The Pioneers built a solid resume with a Top 10 win over Towson and three Top 20 wins against Villanova, Georgetown and North Carolina. Tough losses to Princeton and Villanova hurt, and then losing to Georgetown in the Big East championship killed any chances. This is the first time since coach Bill Tierney took the job at Denver that the Pioneers have missed out on the tourney.Comments

 

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