Selection Sunday: 2023 NCAA Tournament Bubble Recap
The 68-team field for the 2023 NCAA Tournament has been set following Selection Sunday, which answered a lot of college basketball’s burning questions. There were interesting seeding placements throughout the bracket but I will touch on some of those later.
The main excitement from Selection Sunday, besides seeing where certain teams got seeded, is what bubble teams made the tournament. The bubble teams are broken into groups as last four byes, last four in, first four out and next four out.
These 16 schools that make up these groups essentially have to wait until Selection Sunday to know if they even made the tournament. I’d say by the time conference tournaments were winding down there were only seven teams that were uncertain about their tournament hopes.
The First Four teams this year were Mississippi State, Pittsburgh, Arizona State and Nevada. Mississippi State had a resume of 21-12 with a 4-8 Quad 1 record and a NET ranking of 49th. Pitt had a resume of 22-11 with a 4-4 Quad 1 record and a NET ranking of 67th. These two teams will face off in a First Four matchup.
The other two First Four teams were even closer to missing the tournament. Arizona State had a resume of 22-12 with a 5-6 Quad 1 record and a NET ranking of 66th. The final team in the tournament was Nevada. Nevada had a resume of 22-10 with a 4-5 Quad 1 record and a NET ranking of 37th.
These resumes are similar in many ways but it was said this year this was more emphasis on NET ranking instead of just Quad wins and losses.
Other Issues with the March Madness Seeding
The two biggest snubs of this year’s March Madness were Rutgers and Oklahoma State. Rutgers was 19-14 with a 4-7 Quad 1 record and a NET ranking of 40th. Oklahoma State was 18-15 with a 6-12 Quad 1 record and a NET ranking of 43rd. I think these two teams could both be in the tournament but they also had some clear issues with their résumés.
At the end of the day, no one will ever be happy with bubble teams because there are always going to be the unfortunate two to three teams that just miss the tournament.
Here are also some quick problems I have with a few different teams and their seeds.
UConn has ranks eighth overall in the NET and a good quad record while playing in the always tough Big East. A 4-seed is too low, frankly.
Another team that got the short end of the stick is FAU. This was easily the most impressive mid-major team as they went 31-3 and had a NET ranking of 13th. However, they got screwed with a 9-seed and therefore are staring down the barrel of two tough matchups to start the tournament.
Lastly, I think 7-seeded Texas A&M and 5-seeded St Mary’s could each be a seed lower. That was a quick reaction and recap of Selection Sunday.
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