While I realize that there is more to making the field of 68 than the RPI, I think the list of the field of 68 would offer far more interest if next to each of those seeds ( one bid conference winners not necessary) they also showed the RPI rank.
Non Power 5 conferences got got a grand total of 4 at large births in today’s bracket selection.
All four of the final at large bids went to teams whose RPI’s were easily higher that Illinois St. RPI of 33, entrants K-St. and Providence got at large bids with RPI’s of 56 and 57. Illinois St. was not even listed in the first 4 out category. Iowa and Syracuse who had RPI’s north of 80 were on that list.
Illinois St. didn’t play, and therefore beat any out of conference team with a high RPI. While this is true few power 5 teams are interested in playing Illinois State.
A year ago Monmouth took the risk of going on the road to play UCLA in Pawley, they also played away from home court games against Georgetown, Notre Dame and Southern Cal. Only an overtime loss to UCLA kept them from a 4 and 0 mark against that lineup. Monmouth has since at least one power conference team (don’t recall who that was) back out of a future Monmouth scheduled game.
On last years selection Sunday they had an RPI that was below multiple teams that received power 5 at large bids but got no bid. Even this year Monmouth, who won the MAAC regular season by a full 4 games, went 27-6, had an RPI of only 48. However they were not ever in the discussion of consideration. They should have at least had them mentioned in discussion when teams getting in with RPI’s of 56 and 57, or those listed as first 4 out, having RPI’s over 80.
The NCAA wants to keep as much money as possible going to their meal ticket conferences and a blatant double standard will continue to keep the annual two or three deserving mid major schools from conferences like the MVC, MAAC. from getting that at large bid.
Personally, I find it more intriguing to see how some of these mid- majors with high RPI’S or 20 plus more wins than losses will do against power 5 schools than last 4 in that get in with 13 and more losses.
I don’t harbor any thoughts that they will go any further than those 13 and 14 loss power 5 conference entrants, just think the loss in their conference tourney should not automatically send them to the NIT as it does now.