The 2011 NCAA tournament brackets are set (printable NCAA bracket) and as is always the case, various schools have room to complain about being snubbed by the selection committee. The Bay Area has one such team in the form of the St. Mary’s Gaels. The Gaels finished the 2010-2011 basketball season 25-8 with an RPI of 46, but it was not enough to get them in over the likes of the 19-14 USC Trojans.
In reality a team looking for one of the last at-large bids can only complain so much, particularly as the field was watered down even more by the move to 68 teams. St. Mary’s had plenty of opportunities to avoid this exclusion. They could have beaten an awful San Diego Toreros squad on the road. They could have put away Utah State in their Bracketbuster Saturday matchup. They could have beaten Portland on the road. And of course they could have beaten Gonzaga in last week’s WCC title game.
I wish the Gaels had gotten in, but I don’t think they were viciously snubbed. And really I don’t think anybody this far down the list can say they absolutely should have gotten in to the tournament. Some might have deserved it more than others, but each one of these teams had their chance to do more. Now they all will likely get a chance for NIT glory. I do feel bad for seniors like Mickey McConnell, but these things happen.