Billy Packer and Jim Nantz were correct to call-out the Selection Committee Chairman but they did it for all the wrong reasons. Packer seemed to be the spokesperson for the major-conference bubble teams like Maryland, Michigan, and Cincinnati that didn't make the tournament. Packer's decision to question the Committee's selections solely on a mid-major vs. major basis disguises the real problem. Deserving teams should not be grouped into sub-categories. Packer did teams like Hofstra, Cincinnati, and Missouri St. and injustice by focusing the attention on teams like Maryland and Florida St. that didn't have a beef to begin with.
The Selection Committee clearly didn't have a problem letting in mid-majors which is what Packer was irate about. If he did his homework, he would've realized that the Committee let in the wrong mid-majors. As I mentioned last week, Utah St. and Air Force had no business whatsoever making the tournament. But, there were majors that undeservedly made the tournament as well. Seton Hall lost to Rutgers (2), Northwestern, Richmond, St. John's, and DePaul, had an RPI of 58 and still made the tournament. Packer missed the boat with his misguided diatribe. Nobody in the media made a compelling argument for Hofstra or Missouri St. Well, after the first week, I think there is vindication. Air Force and Utah St. went out in the first round without making a sound. Seton Hall was blown away by a MVC team. That same MVC team (Wichita St.) went on to beat Tennessee and is now in the Sweet Sixteen. Bradley, the team that finished 6th in the final MVC regular season standings, has beaten Kansas and Pittsburgh to fly into the Sweet Sixteen. George Mason beat Michigan St. and N. Carolina in convincing fashion.
After seeing Wichita St., George Mason, and Bradley tear up the field in the first two rounds, imagine what teams like Hofstra (which beat George Mason twice this year and finished with a better record), Missouri St. (the MVC's hottest team at the end of the regular season), and Creighton could do. Hofstra, Missouri St., and Cincinnati are tearing through the NIT tournament. It's not about mid majors or majors. It's about the teams that deserve to make it. The Selection Committee was wrong last week and they were proven wrong this week. Packer was wrong as the "major" teams that he lobbied for like Maryland lost to Manhattan in the NIT. The Tournament has been exciting as usual but the awful job by the Selection Committee and likewise by Billy Packer to accurately identify the Selection Committee's failure has left a bitter taste in my mouth. If George Mason can thoroughly beat a Michigan St. team, then imagine what Hofstra could do. The Committee's job is to pick the best at-large teams. Instead, it decided to put undeserving teams in the tournament as to not give too many teams from one conference bids (i.e. CAA and MVC). Coincidentally, the Committee has said many times in the past that they pay no attention to the number of teams from each conference.
There needs to be reform to the selection process. I might give some suggestions in the future but the Committee clearly failed miserably this year in picking the best teams. For every George Mason and Bradley that's in the tournament, there is a Creighton, Missouri St., or Hofstra that could've done the exact same thing. Thanks to the Selection Committee, we got to see Seton Hall put on a horrible performance and Utah St. and Air Force vanish in the wind.