Selection Sunday sucked. There is no other way to put it.
We got passed over by the Selection Committee and two teams we either tied or finished ahead of in conference play were invited. And to increase the strength of the kick to the gut, both were given respectable at large seeds, meaning the committee viewed a large gap between them and the Sun Devils.
And to add further insult to injury, the Chairman of the Selection Committee gave some rambling, incoherent non-answer when asked why Arizona and Oregon were in easily and Arizona State was left out. If he'd have just come out and said something understandable, most ASU fans would probably have disagreed with the statement, but at least we'd understand what he was saying.
Instead, we have to try to decipher his statement that said the Committee ignores conferences but values non-conference schedules while not really deciding because of RPI but really thinking that ASU's non-conference RPI was high.
Makes sense, right?
And, of course, our rivals are pounding their chests about the only crutch they have in the sporting rivalry this year (other than swimming and diving) – they have a much better RPI!! Woo hoo!
Someone said it best when they said that Arizona looks better on paper while ASU looks better on the court.
In the end, the Devils' inconsistencies and a weaker than expected non-conference schedule cost ASU an invitation to the "Big Dance." But it's still a tough pill to swallow when a team like South Alabama gets an invitation by beating a good team or two and piling up the wins against mediocre-at-best competition. But they're dancing, braced by that HUGE win over Mississippi State and the Devils are sitting at home looking at their two wins over #3 seeds and wondering why nobody wanted to take them Dancin'.
Now ASU must do what seems to be one of the harder things in college sports – not validate being snubbed by playing poorly and getting beat early in the NIT. These young Devils have to play well and get at least to the semi-finals or the Selection Committee's choices will be validated, just like being left out of the BCS in football was validated by a thumping in the Holiday Bowl.
So let the rivals rejoice in their moral victories against high quality teams, their higher RPI, and the resulting invite to the Big Dance. It's all they've got right now and that says a lot about how great it is to be a Sun Devil.
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