The Southern Miss Golden Eagles were left out of the 2013 NCAA Tournament for a simple reason.
That simple reason was the fact that the team could not beat the Memphis Tigers. The Golden Eagles had three chances to do so and lost all three games to Memphis. It did not matter if the game was played at home or away. Despite losing in double overtime in the conference tournament, Southern Miss lost every game by double digits against Memphis.
Southern Miss was clearly the second best team in the conference, finishing with a conference record of 12-4, but the Conference USA does not get a lot of bids. In this year’s case, it got one. If it weren’t for Memphis, Southern Miss would have only lost two games in the conference, but that was not the case.
It would have helped if Southern Miss would have beaten Arizona earlier in the year, which would have been a pretty big upset at the time. However, when you play in a mid-major conference that does not get a lot of bids, you better at least beat the best team in the conference once if you plan on dancing. Since that was not the case, an NIT bid was pretty reasonable for the Golden Eagles.
It does not help your case when Southern Miss did not have any big wins one the year and when they lost to Marshall, who finished the season with a 13-19 record.
Whether the case, at the end of the day, Southern Miss was still left out of the Big Dance, but three losses to Memphis probably had something to do about it. In all fairness, though, the Golden Eagles still did win 27 games on the season, so it is not like they were horrible or anything close to that.
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