Which of these three teams deserved the highest seed in the NCAA tournament?:
Pretty easy, right? Team C has the advantage in every major metric, most noticeably the head-to-head record against the best teams in the country. Given this subtle foreshadowing, you'll probably only be slightly shocked to learn that Team C was given the worst seed of these three teams in this week's NCAA tournament.
Team A is Maryland (No. 4 seed). Team B is Vanderbilt (ditto). And if you have read this blog at all in the past 24 hours, you already have figured out that Team C is the criminally under-seeded Temple Owls. Despite a 10-game win streak, both Atlantic 10 titles, a win over Villanova and a top-10 RPI, Temple was handed a No. 5 seed and a tough first-round date with potential giant-killer Cornell. It's a travesty.
Temple's resume is similar to that of New Mexico, another solid team from a conference that's not quite a mid-major but not quite BCS either. The committee did right by the Lobos, awarding them a No. 3 seed due to a high RPI, lofty winning percentage and number of quality wins. Temple should have earned the same respect.
Before the selection show, we speculated on our live chat that the committee could give the shaft to Temple by awarding them a No. 4 seed instead of the No. 3 everyone knew the team clearly deserved. The No. 5 seed seemed out of the realm of possibility. Surely the committee couldn't give Temple the same rank as eight-loss Michigan State and nine-loss Texas A&M.
The rest of the Atlantic 10 didn't get much love either. Xavier got a No. 6 seed and Richmond was handed a No. 7 despite both teams having top-25 RPIs. It's yet another example of the selection committee favoring medicore BCS teams over mid-majors who have proven their worth on the court.
- Temple Owls