SEC only gets 3 teams in NCAA Basketball Playoffs

I was watching the Ole Miss v Florida SEC Championship game and actually pulling for the underdog rebels until I saw the point guard for Ole Miss do the gator chop in an attempt to rile up the Florida fans. Then I pulled for the gators.

Ole Miss won the game and got the third spot from the SEC in the big dance. I knew Missouri and Florida had already sewed up spots. However, I was shocked that Florida got a 3 seed.

Jimmy Dykes of ESPN said that Tennessee was going to get a spot in the NCAA field too but the committee said that the Vols were not good on the road. I personally think that the way they played the last 10 games should have got them in. They also lost by one point to #2 seeded Georgetown. Those two facts should have been enough to get them in.

Again Arkansas for the last two years did not even qualify for the NIT. Mike Anderson is the right coach for the Hogs but we will have to wait till more recruits get on campus before we make a strong move.

Below is an article that also looks at some of the reasons Tennessee should have got in. I don’t think any other team in the SEC should have got in though.

Rejection Sunday: Vols left out of NCAA tournament, receive No. 2 seed in NIT

For the second year in a row, it’s March sadness for Tennessee men’s

basketball.

The NCAA tournament Selection Show concluded Sunday without the Vols splashing across the screen. They now trudge forward to a second straight National Invitational Tournament. Tennessee (20-12), a No. 2 seed, will face seventh-seeded Mercer (23-11) on Wednesday at Thompson-Boling Arena (TV: ESPNU, 8 p.m.).

Instead of the Vols, St. Mary’s, Boise State, La Salle and Middle Tennessee State landed as the last four teams in the NCAA bracket. Ole Miss, a bubble team as of Sunday morning, earned an automatic bid by means of a 66-63 win over Florida in the SEC championship game.

The Rebels gave the SEC a third bid to the NCAA tournament, joining Florida and Missouri. It’s the league’s fewest representatives since 2009 and only the second time since 1990 that less than four conference teams are dancing.

“There are too many good coaches and a caliber of talent in this league that, to get three teams, that’s an embarrassment,” said UT coach

Cuonzo Martin, who is going to his third straight NIT, having brought Missouri State in 2011.

Now UT is preparing for its second straight NIT for the first time since 2003 and 2004. UT snapped a school-record streak of six straight NCAA tournament appearances last year.

“I don’t think it came down to MTSU and Tennessee because at the end of the day, you have to take care of your own business,” Martin said. “I thought we were in position with scheduling. Some games you came up short in. At the end of the day it’s about Tennessee doing what we need to do instead of consuming ourselves with who got in.”

This will be Tennessee’s 13th appearance in the NIT. The Vols (20-12) hold a 13-12 all-time record.

Mercer, a guard-oriented team coming off an Atlantic Sun Conference regular-season title, comes to Thompson-Boling as winners in 11 of its last 13 games. The Bears saw their NCAA tournament hopes dashed in a conference championship game loss to Florida Gulf Coast.

Wednesday’s winner will travel to face the survivor of third-seeded BYU (21-11) and sixth-seeded Washington (18-15). As a No. 2 seed, UT would have hosted a potential second-round NIT game, but Thompson-Boling will be unavailable due to the NCAA women’s basketball tournament.

Upon learning of missing the NCAA tournament, memories of Georgetown, Ole Miss, Georgia and Alabama come to mind.

On Nov. 30, UT held Georgetown to 37 points, its fewest in a game since 1984, and lost by one. The Vols went 3-for-11 from the free-throw line that day. Georgetown ended up as a No. 2 seed in the NCAA tournament.

On Jan. 24, UT led most of the way at Ole Miss, but then watched as Marshall Henderson poured in 24 second-half points to squeeze out a 62-56 win. The Vols committed 21 turnovers and missed four critical free throws in the final minutes.

Georgia upended UT twice, on Feb. 6 in Knoxville and March 2 in Athens. Both were winnable. Both were lost.

Most recently, a loss to Alabama in Friday’s SEC quarterfinals, though, was the ultimate pinprick to the Vols’ bubble.

Any of the above could have shifted Tennessee’s stars.

In a post-Selection Show interview with CBS, Mike Bobinski, the chair of the NCAA tournament selection committee, specifically pointed to the season sweep by Ole Miss as a blockade. He also said UT’s late-season push didn’t include wins over “a lot of very powerful teams” and added that the Vols “struggled to win on the road over the course of the year.”

The latter comments stand as a point of contention for Tennessee. Included in the team’s nine wins in its final 11 games were victories over Florida, Missouri and Kentucky. The Vols finished the year 4-7 on the road and 3-2 in neutral court games.

All told, UT went 3-5 against the NCAA tournament’s 68-team field.

“They said we lost to Ole Miss twice, well Ole Miss is an NCAA tournament team,” Martin quipped.

The 32-team NIT will have to suffice.

Playing as a No. 1 seed in last season’s NIT, the Vols beat Savannah State before falling to Middle Tennessee State.

That same MTSU team snuck into Sunday’s bracket. The Blue Raiders, who finished the season 28-5, including a 19-1 record in the Sun Belt Conference, landed as a No. 11 seed and will face St. Mary’s in a play-in game in Dayton, Ohio.

Brendan F. Quinn covers Tennessee men’s basketball. Follow him at Twitter.com/BFQuinn.

© 2013 govolsxtra.com. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

Tennessee guards Jordan McRae, right, and Quinton Chievous react after Alabama defeated Tennessee in an NCAA college basketball game at the Southeastern Conference tournament on Friday, March 15, 2013, in Nashville, Tenn. Alabama won 58-48. (AP Photo/John Bazemore)

Tennessee guards Jordan McRae, right, and Quinton Chievous react after Alabama defeated Tennessee in an NCAA college basketball game at the Southeastern Conference tournament on Friday, March 15, 2013, in Nashville, Tenn. Alabama won 58-48. (AP Photo/John Bazemore)

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