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Bad non-conference schedules sink teams
Posted By HOOPSWORLD On March 17, 2013 @ 8:00 am In Wirenews | Comments Disabled
by Patrick Stevens, Special for USA TODAY Sports
Days until Selection Sunday: 0
The big picture:
There truly are few absolutes when it comes to projecting the NCAA tournament field. There are first times for everything, and they have become more frequent with a 68-team event rather than a 65-team field.
So you never say never.
But if there is one consistent message the NCAA selection committee has sent in recent years, it is don’t play a horrible non-conference schedule and expect to get into the tournament if you are a borderline case.
Since the still-inexplicable inclusion of Air Force (non-conference schedule of 273, among other shortcomings) in 2006, only 11 teams with out-of-league schedules ranked worse than 250th nationally have earned at-large nods (thanks to CollegeRPI.com for the data to sift through). The worst seed any of them received was the No. 8 seed handed to Louisiana State in 2009.
As for borderline teams? Let’s take a peek:
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