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Rutgers third biggest snub all-time per the Bracket Matrix



Photo credit Rutgers Athletics

Rutgers men’s basketball was hoping to make history on Selection Sunday with a third straight NCAA Tournament bid for the first time ever. The biggest debate seemed to be whether a return trip to Dayton would be part of the bid. Unfortunately, the Scarlet Knights were left out of the field entirely.

While the heartbreak throughout the fan base was evident, RU not making it was a hot topic on multiple shows and on social media following the Selection Committee’s unveiling of the bracket.

On Monday, it was confirmed that Rutgers not making the NCAA Tournament is statistically the third biggest snub of all-time per the Bracket Matrix. The site has been around for roughly two decades.

Rutgers was projected to make the Field of 68 by 218 out of 229 bracketologists. The 95.7% inclusion rate is only behind Syracuse from 16 years ago and Virginia Tech from 12 years ago.

As I said on The Scarlet Faithful podcast on Monday, the fact that so many bracketologists were wrong is extremely telling. They study the tendencies from past years and make predictions on what the committee will ultimately decide. This makes it appear that the committee did in fact deviate from its criteria in how they judged Rutgers.

Per the tweet above, there has been one team every year that is overwhelming projected to make the tournament that ultimately gets left out. The Scarlet Knights were that team this year.

Here is a look at how the six teams to earn a No. 11 seed in the NCAA Tournament field were projected.

Mississippi State 225 out of 229 projections (98.3%).

Providence  218 out of 229 projections (95.2%).

Arizona State 204 out of 229 (89.1%).

NC State 197 out of 229 projections (86.0%).

Pitt 139 out of 229 projections (60.1%).

Nevada 71 out of 229 projections (31.0%)

The fact that Rutgers was projected into the field of 68  at a higher rate (95.2%) than four bubble teams that were selected makes it all the more painful.

In fact, Nevada was the last team to make the big dance. They were projected to make it at a much lower rate than RU. After losing their last three games, they were projected to make the field 147 less times than Rutgers.

The last team left out was Oklahoma State. They were one spot ahead of the Scarlet Knights according to the committee. The Cowboys were projected 151 less times than RU after being picked by 29.5% bracketologists.

At the end of the day, all that matters is that Rutgers was left out of the NCAA Tournament. The committee cited the four quad three losses, the lack of notable non-conference wins, which is odd due to Rutgers having seven wins against the field, as well as the injury to Mawot Mag.

The NET rankings were put in place to negate recency bias. However, the committee didn’t hide the fact that the injury to Mag impacted how they viewed Rutgers. The team went just 3-7 in his absence. While they played better in the Big Ten Tournament, it wasn’t enough to sway the committee.

Rutgers fans will remember this team forever. And now every March this team will also be used as an example of an all-time snub when bracketologists are trying once again to predict what the selection committee will do.

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