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PostPosted: Wed Mar 09, 2005 2:07 pm 
In light of Oakland's victory over Oral Roberts and the AP's false claim that "no Mid-Continent team has been an at-large selection to the NCAA Tournament" (and ESPN's constant reiterations thereof) the following is a (non-comprehensive) list of conferences never to have received an at-large selection to the NCAA Tournament (at least since 1985)...

America East Conference
America West Conference (1994-1996; no automatic bid)
Big Sky Conference
Big South Conference
East Coast Conference (1974-1992, 1993-1994)
Gulf Star Conference (1984-1987; no automatic bid)
Ivy League
Mid-Eastern Athletic Conference
Northeast Conference
Patriot League
Southern Conference
Southland Conference
Southwestern Athletic Conference

Without having actually conducted timely research, the following conferences have only one instance of having sent an at-large team to the NCAA Tournament (at least since 1985)...

American South Conference (1991)
Atlantic Sun Conference (1994)
Colonial Athletic Association (1986)
Metro Atlantic Athletic Conference (1995)
Ohio Valley Conference (1987)

P.S. Some numbnuts just sent Dan Patrick an e-mail stating that the 1985 Villanova team only got in to the NCAAs by virtue of winning the BIG EAST Conference Tournament (won by Georgetown); the 1985 BIG EAST sent six (Boston College, Georgetown, Pittsburgh, Saint John's, Syracuse, Villanova) of nine (Connecticut, Providence, Seton Hall) teams to the NCAAs, with four of those teams (BC) advancing to the Sweet 16 and three (Georgetown, Saint John's, Villanova) advancing to the Final Four...(granted, he also stated that North Carolina State might not have advanced to the 1983 NCAA Tournament had it not won the ACC Conference Tournament)...

The Mid-Continent Conference sent an at-large selection to the NCAA Tournament in both 1990 and 1991; conversely, Oral Roberts received an at-large berth to the NCAA Tournament in 1974...

PostPosted: Wed Mar 09, 2005 2:14 pm 
Also note that in 1991, the BIG EAST sent seven (UConn, G'town, Providence, Saint John's, Seton Hall, Syracuse, Villanova) of nine (BC, Providence) to the NCAA Tournament...

PostPosted: Wed Mar 09, 2005 4:56 pm 
Now that I think about it, I believe that 1986 Cleveland State team (14-seed advancing to Sweet 16) was considered an "at-large selection" as the Mid-Continent had not yet acquired its automatic bid...the AMCU/Mid-Con posted six wins in the NCAAs during the years (1986-1994) prior to the Midwest Collegiate annexation...

PostPosted: Mon Mar 14, 2005 11:36 am 
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I hope that many of the smaller conferences take the lead set by the Big West and revamp their conference tourney formats.

We saw in the SoCon where an excellent Davidson team, which went undefeated int he conference play, was left out.

The solution?


The Big West uses a format where the top 4 seeds get first round byes.

The TOP 2 seeds get a second round bye.

So when all is said and done the #3 and #4 teams play the winners of #5 vs #8 and #6 vs #7 for access to the semi-finals.

Seeds #1 and #2 are automatically in the semi-finals.

Pacific was going to get an at-large bid, regardless. But the format allowed both Utah St. and Pacific to make it to the final with only 1 win each.

More conferences should follow the lead set by the Big West to protect their best teams. It's the only way to build up a conferences reputation.

Note that this doesn't need to be for just small conference.s Tier 2 and 3 conferences like the MAC could benefit as well.

Buffalo (#2) and Miami (#1) should have had an easier road. The conference was very strong, but only Ohio got in after upsetting Buffalo in the tourney. The result, only 1 bid for the tough MAC and the representative got only a #13 seed.

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PostPosted: Mon Mar 14, 2005 11:51 am 
What I don't understand is why, if the individual conferences make an attempt to "protect" their higher seeds, they even hold a post-season conference (tournament) championship in the first place? Is it the "Southern Illinois" factor? A "guaranteed" regular at-large first place team can be accompanied by an non-first place finisher who wins the conference (tournament) championship? Yet another reason the conference (tournament) championships present obvious undertones of a conflict of interest...

What conferences have "truncated" conference (tournament) championships (to varying degrees)? I can list the Big West (byes/neutral site), Horizon League (byes/home court, and West Coast Conference (byes/rotating sites), but I know that there are others...

Well, that's why on of the CNNSI guys (Seth Davis?) accurately refers to "Championship Week" as "Cheap TV Drama Week""...

PostPosted: Mon Mar 14, 2005 11:56 am 
Obviously, in the case of Davidson, the Southern Conference utilizes divisional play (as it has done since the mid-1990s, when it had "only" ten members) much as it hurts to say this, the conference (tournament) championships might serve some definitive purpose in conferences using an "unbalanced" schedule (e.g. ACC, BIG EAST, Big Ten, C-USA) absent divisional play (sorry, Big 8+4, you use divisions for basketball)...

PostPosted: Mon Mar 14, 2005 11:59 am 
That being said, the top seed in the conference (tournament) championships listed usually doesn't have a problem receiving an "at-large" bid to the NCAA Tournament (although C-USA division winners had been excluded in the past) Davidson, Holy Cross, and Oral Roberts, that's a different story...

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