Despite a highly successful season that produced an impressive basketball resume that many thought would be enough to get the University of NC at Greensboro’s basketball team a bid to the NCAA Division I Men’s Basketball Tournament this year, UNCG was left standing at the alter after being nudged out of the big dance by the very narrowest of margins.
The Spartans had 28 wins and just 6 losses in a strong league with no “bad” losses marring their record. And before the selection committee announced its selections on Sunday evening, March 17, there was a lot of optimism on and around the Greensboro campus that the team would be awarded an at-large bid to the NCAA Tournament.
However, that optimism turned to heartbreak as the last few teams were announced Sunday evening and UNCG was nowhere on the board.
But it was oh so close. On CBS Sports’ Bracket Breakdown show that aired immediately after the teams were announced, Duke University Athletic Director Kevin White, who serves on the NCAA’s selection committee, said UNCG would have been the next team in if there had been another slot.
“The first team out was UNC-Greensboro,” White said.
He also said that he and the other members of the selection committee had an extremely difficult time making that call.
“That was, for me, the most challenging – and it always has been – who are you going to leave out after a long process,” White said.
Several analysts said that, by the time the selection committee gets to the point of selecting the final at-large teams, the committee is essentially “splitting hairs.”
Sunday night there were a lot of questions about why some teams that didn’t seem as strong as UNCG – such as St. John’s and Belmont – were selected to go while UNCG was not.