By Josh Paulisin @JoshPaulisin on March 18, 2014
Selection Sunday is filled with joy and heartbreak. On one side, you have an ecstatic bubble team celebrating seeing its name among the field of 68. On the other side, the once optimistic bubble team is now sulking after failing to reach the Big Dance. But aren't some of those sulking more deserving than the ones celebrating? Here are the five biggest snubs of the 2014 NCAA tournament.
Southern Miss practically rolled through the regular season. With a school record 27 victories, the Golden Eagles won a share of the Conference USA regular season title. They entered the Conference USA tournament strong with a five-game winning streak and added one more in the conference tournament before bowing out to Louisiana Tech. With a strong RPI of 33, the Golden Eagles should have snuck into the tournament field.
If Florida State would have beaten either Florida or Michigan early in the season, it would have been a lock. But those close losses came back to doom the Seminoles. Still, in a tough ACC, Florida State finished with a .500 record and notched tough wins away from home against VCU, Massachusetts and Pittsburgh. It may not have had a perfect resume, but the Seminoles should have been included over teams like BYU and free-falling Iowa.
California blew its opportunity to dance after a heart-breaking loss to Colorado in the Pac 12 conference tournament. Nevertheless, the Golden Bears were the first team to saddle Arizona with a loss on a memorable night on Feb. 1 and got quality wins against Oregon, Colorado and Stanford, all teams in the NCAA Tournament field. A low RPI and a rough finish ended up costing California a bid that it should have deserved.
First and foremost, Green Bay knocked off Virginia, a No. 1 seed in the NCAA Tournament, back on Dec. 7. Regardless of when it happened, beating a No. 1 seed is a huge deal. The Phoenix then rolled through the Horizon league on its way to a 24-6 record and a regular season conference title. Green Bay also had a decent RPI (56) and played Wisconsin tough in an early season match-up. Green Bay would have been a better choice over NC State.
This might be one of the more shocking omissions in recent memory. Larry Brown's squad became the first ranked team since 2004 to not be selected for the NCAA Tournament. That's absurd. Especially considering the fact that the Mustangs swept UConn, beat Cincinnati and Memphis. RPI is 53, higher than Iowa and NC State. A disappointing omission makes SMU the biggest snub of the 2014 NCAA Tournament.
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