Undefeated Princeton absurdly gets No. 8 seed in NCAA tournament

The Princeton women’s basketball team was awarded a No. 8 seed in the NCAA tournament Monday despite a 30-0 regular season – the best by any women’s or men’s team in Ivy history, a No. 13 ranking, a 3-0 record against the RPI Top 50 and an average margin of victory of 24.9 points per game.

This is a squad that bIew out Pitt, Drexel, Wake Forest, Charlotte and Georgetown, and beat Michigan 85-55 in Ann Arbor. A No. 8 seed shows that the selection committee does not know how to evaluate midmajor teams whatsoever. As Graham Hays of espnW.com writes in his No. 1 Burning Question for the committee:

“In the entire history of the NCAA tournament, Princeton is just the fourth mid-major to enter the event undefeated. There have been a lot of soft schedules and a lot of weak conferences over the course of those 30-plus seasons. Perfect seasons still didn’t happen.

Four times teams from beyond the elite did it. Four. The same number of times No. 8 seeds reached the Sweet 16.

Some reward.”

The Tigers will play Wisconsin-Green Bay in College Park, Md. on Saturday at 11 a.m. on ESPN2.

3 thoughts on “Undefeated Princeton absurdly gets No. 8 seed in NCAA tournament

  1. It’s not just that they went 30-0, it’s how they did it. They played 10 of their games, more than one third, against teams who have an RPI better than 100 (i.e., top third of all teams), won nine of them by 10 points or more, and all but the Penn home game were on the road. They trailed after the halftime buzzer by a total of three minutes all year long (I dare say that that is a record that no team, man or woman, has ever accomplished in NCAA Div. 1), and all but two games were decided by double figures, with the smallest margin being six points.

    The seeding is a travesty. Not only would they face a No. 1 seed if they win their first round game, but going up against a 9 seed in the first round is a real challenge, as Green Bay itself has an RPI rank of 23, which means they could have easily been a 6 or 7 seed themselves. OK, it’s only a game, but it’s just not fair for a team that had as dominant season as the Tigers did.

  2. Princeton definitely got a raw deal with the seeding and the bracket.

    Maybe someone on the selection committee was upset that Coach Banghart insisted on delaying the receipt of the Ivy League Trophy until her team beat Penn at the Palestra. (sorry – I kid because I care).

    When the Yale men’s team was snubbed, I mentioned that I do place a fair part of the blame on the Ivy League Commissioner for not doing an effective job lobbying. If my thought is correct, is this another example of the Commissioner not helping a great team get the respect it deserves?

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