Marshall Was Screwed

We hear it every year the night and day following Selection Sunday: “Tech was hosed! State was screwed!”

Sometimes the arguments are iffy-at-best, sometimes they suck. This year, its clear as night and day that a team was screwed: Marshall.

Twitter erupted like Mount St. Helens after Iona was selected as one of the last four teams in the NCAA tournament last night, and for good reason. Sure, Iona played a tough non-conference schedule. I’ll give you that they beat  some tough RPI 51-100 teams. But so did Marshall, and  then some. Lets compare.

(Click to enlarge.)

Facts:

  • Marshall has a significantly better non-conference and overall strength of schedule rating, something Jeff Hathaway (NCAA committee chairman) said the committee liked about Iona.
  • Marshall’s RPI is 3 points lower than Iona overall and 32 points lower in the non-conference schedule.
  • Marshall is 4-6 against the Top 50, Iona is 0-2.
  • Iona is 5-3 against the Top 100, Marshall is 6-10.
  • Iona has 4 bad losses, Marshall has 3.
  • Iona bowed out in the semi-finals of the MAAC tournament, Marshall made the finals in a significantly better conference (10 vs. 20 in KenPom rating.)
  • Wins against NCAA teams: Iona (3: none of which are at-larges, RPIs: 78, 80, @135) – Marshall (5: vs 21, 21, 40, @42, 58)
  • Perhaps the most damning evidence is that Marshall beat Iona by 19 in December.

For comedic purposes, Marshall wasn’t even in the last four out. Translation: they didn’t just miss the tournament.

Hey, but what do I know about resumes, I’m not on the NCAA selection  committee. What I do know is that a team with significantly more Top 50 wins, more wins against NCAA caliber teams and better strength of schedule numbers was thrown to the curb for a team with less of the aforementioned NCAA at-large criteria.

Oh yeah, lets not forget that Marshall beat Iona by 19 points like the selection committee apparently did.

Marshall was hosed. Marshall was screwed.

Field of 68, my prediction

I won’t waste our time by posting all 31 of the conference winning auto-bids. All we have to know is that leaves 37 at-large bids. Only the bubble teams are listed in order.

At-large (37):

Locks(30):

ACC: Duke, UNC
B10: Indiana, Michigan, Ohio State, Wisconsin, Purdue
B12: Baylor, Kansas, Kansas State, Iowa State
Big East: Georgetown, Syracuse, Cincinnati, Marquette, Notre Dame, UConn, WVU
MVC: Wichita State
MWC: San Diego State, UNLV, Colorado State
SEC: Florida, Vanderbilt, Alabama
WCC: Gonzaga
C-USA: Southern Miss
A-10: Temple, Xavier, St. Louis

Bubble-IN (7):
Virginia
USF
Texas
California
Seton Hall
BYU
Mississippi State
—————–
Marshall
NC State
Northwestern
Ole Miss
Dayton
Iona
Drexel
Oral Roberts
Miami

I believe Marshall should Dance but I don't think the committee will agree.

Bubble-OUT that I wouldn’t be surprised if they made it: Marshall – 4-6 vs Top 50, RPI of 46 and an SOS of 26 with a non-conference SOS of 7 is quite impressive. If it were up to me, I’d probably have them in over Miss. State or BYU but I’m trying to predict what the committee will do.

Bubble-IN that I wouldn’t be surprised if they missed: California/BYU – Neither resume has impressed me at all. 1 combined Top 50 win. I have California in slightly better shape than BYU because an RPI of 38 is hard to deny and they have 9 wins vs RPI 50-100, FWIW.