By Ryan Ratty @RyanRattyNFL on March 17, 2014
SMU basketball has pretty much irrelevant over the past 25 years. If it weren't for Larry Brown and his excellent coaching job, the Mustangs could've gone another 25 years of being the bottom-feeders in their conference. This season, the Mustangs elevated their game en route to a 23-9 season. But there are reasons why they didn't make the 2014 NCAA Tournament, and these are the top five.
Throughout the 2013-14 college basketball season, the Mustangs had a ton of ups and downs. At times, they could play and compete with anyone. But then there were times where they beaten by bad teams. SMU had really bad losses against South Florida, Temple and Houston.
Not many thought the Virginia Cavaliers would go on to be one of the best teams in college basketball on Nov. 29 when SMU lost to them by three. They also had chances to beat Louisville, Cincinnati and Arkansas, but they failed to do so.
When the Mustangs did beat elite teams, it was in the Moody Coliseum. In this building, the Mustangs beat Connecticut, Memphis and Cincinnati. All three were quality wins, but they were home in all of these games. This is not a good thing when the tournament committee looks back at SMU's year.
Besides playing Virginia, the Mustangs didn't really play anyone that good. Their best out-of-conference win was against Wyoming. This is really scary, considering SMU finished in the top 25 in the final AP poll of the 2014 college basketball regular season.
The tournament committee looks for teams that get hot towards the end of the season, and this is something that the Mustangs failed to do. They ended the regular season on a low note by losing to Memphis and Louisville. In the quarterfinals of the American Athletic Conference tournament, SMU got bounced by Houston. While SMU played great at times this past season, their ineptitude to beat an elite team on the road was a back-breaker for them.
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