Selection Sunday has come and gone and you bet, not everyone is happy. Out of over 350 college basketball teams, only 68 are going to dance in March Madness. With 32 conference champions clinching sure spots in the NCAA Tournament as auto-bids, the selection committee is left with the task to distribute 32 at-large berths to complete the bracket.
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Despite a system in place, the process of selecting those 32 teams is not air-tight and always going to be subject to debates, which is also why we are having this list. With that said here are three teams that should’ve made the 2022 NCAA Tournament.
Biggest snubs of the 2022 NCAA Tournament
3. BYU Cougars
Losing to the Pacific Tigers turned out to really hurt the Cougars, who were hoping they will be among the teams joining the NCAA Tournament. BYU had a 22-10 overall record in the 2021-22 season to go with a 9-6 conference record. The Cougars also had four Quadrant 1 wins against six losses. They also were 3-3 in Quadrant 2 games. Although they lost to Pacific, the Cougars did score victories over fellow WCC teams Saint Mary’s Gaels and San Francisco Dons — both headed to March Madness. Had the Cougars defeated the Dons in the WCC Tournament, they would have had a stronger case. There was also the Cougars whiffing on their chance to beat the Creighton Bluejays in non-conference play, losing to the Big East team back in December, 83-71. That would have been a big catch for Mark Pope’s squad that ranked 13th nationally in opponents’ offensive rebound percentage.
2. Wake Forest Demon Deacons
The Demon Deacons are ranked 37th overall by KenPom but will be watching the NCAA Tournament from their couches in Winston-Salem. Wake Forest knew that it is standing on shaky ground in terms of its chances to make the 2022 NCAA Tournament, especially after losing to the Boston College Eagles in the ACC Tournament.
But still, the Demon Deacons went 13-7 in conference play. They defeated eventual ACC tourney champs Virginia Tech Hokies, Syracuse Orange, Virginia Cavaliers, and the North Carolina Tar Heels — their biggest victim of the season. Then again, the Demon Deacons were only 1-4 in Quadrant 1 games and 4-3 in Quadrant 2 contests. They also had a couple of Quadrant 3 losses. The Demon Deacons could only rue their close 76-74 road loss to the Duke Blue Devils in February. Prior to that loss, Wake Forest absorbed a 76-72 home loss at the hands of the Miami Hurricanes, who are now preparing for the Big Dance as a 10-seed. If the Demon Deacons scored a win in either of those contests, especially the one versus Coach K’s squad, the Demon Deacons could be polishing their glass slippers this March.
1. Oklahoma Sooners
The Sooners are the highest-ranked team on KenPom that missed the boat to the 2022 NCAA Tournament. Oklahoma had a strong finish to the regular season, beating the Oklahoma State Cowboys, West Virginia Mountaineers, and the Kansas State Wildcats in consecutive fashion. And then the Sooners sustained their red-hot form by taking down the defending national champions Baylor Bears in the Big 12 Tournament.
The Sooners followed that up with a razor-thin loss to the Texas Tech Red Raiders. A win over the Red Raiders in that contest might have been enough for the Selection Committee to give the Sooners an entry to the NCAA Tournament, as Oklahoma had already defeated Texas Tech in Norman back in February.
There were also their losses to the likes of the Butler Bulldogs and the Utah State Aggies in a relatively weak non-conference schedule. The Sooners’ fate came down to blown chances, as they had a 4-12 Quadrant 1 record. It would have been interesting to watch Tanner Groves and the Sooners play in the tournament. They were an intriguing offensive team that doesn’t take a lot of threes but is so efficient inside the arc, ranking sixth in the nation in 2-point field-goal percentage.
The BYU Cougars, Wake Forest Demon Deacons, and the Oklahoma Sooners are just three of the teams that were left out of the picture in March Madness. In any case, there will always be next season, where they will be hoping to put together a much more impressive resume for the NCAA Tournament.