I made sure to wear orange and maroon yesterday. Lot's of it. I rocked my 2004 orange effect tee, nearest and dearest to my heart, covered up by a maroon Nike hoodie with a big "VT" embroidered across the chest, and I had my team united wristband on for good measure. I'd be on the train most of the day and I wanted everyone and anyone who passed by to know how proud I was to be a Hokie, proud I was of our team to overcome more than their fair share of adversity and finally break through the stigma of the NIT and into NCAA Tournament. We knew we were going dancing, the invite was just a formality. We're all the lone elementary-schooler left off the list of the cool kid's party, and man, he had a bouncy castle too.
Snubbed, screwed, no, it's more like duped. We believed the "bracketologists" like Joe Lunardi and Jerry Palm that we'd be invited, after all they just don't hand bracketology degrees out to anybody, it's like a 6 year graduate program. We believed that a marvelous win over top-ranked Duke would cover the stench of being swept by UVa. We scheduled tough outside the conference, but didn't win big. We thought we clinched by a finger tip.
In the end we did enough, but not enough. We earned a place on the bubble, nothing more, nothing less. We left ourselves open to the subjectivity of a committee of individuals with their own non-transparent criteria to guide them through the at-large selection process. Then our bubble popped, and it would be anything more than a speculation to say why. If anything not knowing why we were left out hurts the most, throw the dog a bone right? It's not fair, but that's life. I'm devastated for our seniors. With all they've done, they will have never danced and I'm sure that's something that will stick with them until the end. But I'm not going to belittle the other bubble teams that got in, "sweep around your own porch first", my Mom always tells me. Don't blow a 16 point lead to UNC, hit free throws to close out games and play everyone like it's Duke on Saturday night.
However, as is becoming customary in the hours after brackets are announced, Seth was critical of the committee and their bubble selections.
"Just disappointed. You almost wonder if someone in that room has their own agenda and that agenda doesn't include Virginia Tech. Just plain and simple. I totally wonder it, if someone in that room has an agenda. The explanation was so inconsistent with the result that it was almost mind-boggling. I guess they even brought up our non-conference schedule. Kansas State, Purdue, Oklahoma State, UNLV, Penn State, St. Bonaventure that was supposed to be big and Mississippi State that was projected to win the SEC. I'd say that's a pretty significant slate and challenge. So they must not have looked at it very closely. But I guess they did. I feel for these kids. Doesn't take away from what we accomplished this year... but it's extremely disheartening. You would hate to think that politics would be involved, but it makes you wonder."
"What I'd like to know is if there's ever been a team that's won nine games in the ACC and played the non-conference schedule that we played and beat a No. 1 seed and still didn't get in. I'd love to see the research on that No. 1, and No. 2 is there are teams in the tournament, that if you look at their non-conference schedule, beat no one. No one. They didn't beat an Oklahoma State. They didn't beat a Penn State. They didn't beat a Mississippi State. We chose to go on the road to Kansas State. Or (some teams that got in) have one quality win out of conference. I mean... and to have to play in our conference, and go on the road and win at Maryland... again, it just makes you wonder. But I'm not in the room (with the selection committee). Probably another reason they need to open up that room, or at least give each and every school, 'This is our criteria. This is what it's going to be every year, and this is how we're going to make choices.' Because in the end, it isn't that. There's a human element to it. And that's why you wonder, in that human element, if someone in that room has an agenda. Again, that's just a question."
full transcript via KT
I appreciate and respect everything Seth has done for Virginia Tech basketball. It may be going too far to say his comments are classless, but Hokies Respect, right? Nevertheless, to me those aren't the words spoken by a winner, someone looking to be a champion. No where in there was did he say, "we're gonna get better", nor was there any acceptance of fault, when there should be and that's very disappointing to me. That's what champions do, or so I think.
I'm rooting for us to win the NIT and I'll watch every game we're in. Not because it would fill the void or make up for missing The Dance, it won't, but because that's the work left to be done. I want this team to give me a reason to believe that they were indeed snubbed, because trying to be objective and rational isn't fun.