Sitting in the family room of his house in Boulder, Colo., on Sunday, Colorado coach Tad Boyle watched his players explode with excitement during the NCAA tournament selection show when they learned they were a No. 8 seed in the South Region.
A few minutes later as the euphoria died down, Boyle noted his surprise at his team being seeded a few spots higher than most had expected in the build up to the bracket being unveiled. The Buffs were set to face No. 9 seed Pittsburgh.
When the two teams came together on the court in Orlando on Thursday morning in one of the first games of the tournament this year, it quickly became apparent the selection committee gave the Buffs a little too much credit seeding them two or three spots higher than they probably should have been slotted and higher than even their coach expected. It resulted in a 77-48 loss to the Panthers and a lot of surprised looks at television screens across the nation from fans who couldn't believe the score.
It's the worst NCAA tournament loss in Colorado's relatively short history in the event.
The Buffs weren't alone.
Some believed Brigham Young didn't belong in this season's tournament. Others believed the Cougars belonged in one of the First Four play-in games earlier this week because of their 23-11 record entering the tournament with losses to teams such as Pepperdine, Pacific and Portland in West Coast Conference play.
BYU was seeded No. 10 instead opposite No. 7 Oregon and the Ducks cruised to an easy 87-68 victory Thursday.
The Cougars played the whole season with second-leading scorer Kyle Collinsworth, who suffered a torn knee ligament in the WCC tournament and wasn't available for the NCAA tournament . The selection committee probably should have given that fact a little more attention in the seeding process.
The NCAA tournament is loved by so many because of the buzzer beaters and upsets and generally competitive games. Getting the seeding right can play a big part in how much of that happens each year. It's entirely plausible that both Colorado and BYU had a bad day on the wrong day, but it's also likely that both teams were seeded higher than they should have been and paid the price for it.
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