The Daily Aggie :: 03/16/15 :: A Closer Look At The Aggies' Seeding

It's been quite a while since we've filed a blog post but with the announcement of the 2015 NCAA Tournament field and the general disappointment/outcry over the Aggies' 15-seed (which happens to be the lowest the Aggies have ever been seeded), we thought it'd be a good time to take a look at the resumes of the teams that received 13, 14 and 15 seeds (or as we'll refer to it -- "Why you probably shouldn't think the Aggies got hosed by the NCAA Tournament Selection Committee")

We've felt since the conclusion of non-conference play that the Aggies were probably not getting anything better than a 15 seed and their weak non-conference resume (notice that we said resume and not schedule) and lack of quality wins was going to be the culprit.

First, to be fair, the Aggies had a schedule that was capable of netting them as high as an 11 or 12 seed had they simply won games in the non-conference and realistically, had done any one or two of the following: beaten Colorado State, Wyoming (in the tournament) or St. Mary's (RPI 72), held on against UTEP, split with UNM and not lost to Oral Roberts, they'd probably be looking at a 13 seed right now instead of staring down the beak of a Jayhawk.

Second, obviously not having Chili Nephawe or Daniel Mullings for a significant stretch of non-conference games did not help their cause either. Some might point to the injuries and wonder why the NCAA Selection committee did not give the Aggies the benefit of the doubt. The fact of the matter is that once you drop past a certain point (most likely an 8 or 9 seed) the NCAA selection committee probably doesn't even take into account what injuries/suspensions/etc. you may or may not have dealt with. The fact of the matter is that teams on the lower end of the seeding process probably don't get the scrutiny that teams at the higher end of the seeding list get, particularly ones that play in a single-bid league such as the WAC, Big Sky, Big West, Southland, etc.

So, with that being said, let's take a look at the numbers. Below is a list of the teams that garnered the 13, 14 and 15 seeds. The team names are prefaced by the NCAA's ranking on their 1-68 ranking along with their unofficial RPI (via Basketball State) in parenthesis.

13 SEEDS

51. Valparaiso (RPI 57)
11-3 vs. teams in the RPI Top 200 (7 non-conference wins)
8-2 vs. 101-200 (3-1 on the road, 1-0 neutral, 5-1 non-conference)
3-1 vs. 51-100 (0-1 on the road, 1-0 neutral, 2-0 non-conference)
0-0 vs 1-50

52. Harvard (RPI 51)
11-6 vs. teams in the RPI Top 200 (4 non-conference wins)
7-3 vs. 101-200 (4-1 on the road, 0-1 neutral, 2-2 non-conference)
4-2 vs. 51-100 (1-1 on the road, 1-0 neutral, 2-1 non-conference)
0-1 vs. 1-50

53. Eastern Washington (RPI 81)
7-7 vs. teams in the RPI Top 200 (5 non-conference wins)
6-4 vs. 101-200 (3-3 on the road, 4-1 non-conference)
1-2 vs. 51-100 (1-2 on the road, 1-2 non-conference)
0-1 vs. 1-50

54. UC Irvine (RPI 87)
8-9 vs. teams in the RPI Top 200 (4 non-conference wins)
5-4 vs. 101-200 (2-2 on the road, 1-0 neutral, 2-3 non-conference)
3-3 vs. 51-100 (0-2 on the road, 2-0 neutral, 2-1 non-conference)
0-2 vs. 1-50

14 SEEDS

55. Georgia State (RPI 67)
9-5 vs. teams in the RPI Top 200 (3 non-conference wins)
8-2 vs. 101-200 (3-2 on the road, 1-0 neutral, 2-0 non-conference)
1-1 vs. 51-100 (0-1 on the road, 1-1 non-conference)
0-3 vs. 1-50

56. Northeastern (RPI 85)
12-6 vs. teams in the RPI Top 200 (7 non-conference wins)
9-2 vs. 101-200 (3-1 on the road, 3-0 neutral, 5-0 non-conference)
3-4 vs. 51-100 (1-4 on the road, 1-0 neutral, 2-3 non-conference)
0-0 vs. 1-50

57. UAB (RPI 130)
8-10 vs. teams in the RPI Top 200 (3 non-conference wins)
5-2 vs. 101-200 (1-1 on the road, 2-0 neutral, 2-2 non-conference)
2-5 vs. 51-100 (0-2 on the road, 1-1 neutral, 1-3 non-conference)
1-3 vs. 1-50 (0-1 on the road, 0-2 neutral)

58. Albany (RPI 104)
10-5 vs. teams in the RPI Top 200 (6 non-conference wins)
8-5 vs. 101-200 (4-3 on the road, 5-4 non-conference)
1-0 vs. 51-100 (1-0 on the road, 1-0 non-conference)
0-1 vs. 1-50

15 SEEDS

59. New Mexico State (RPI 108)
3-9 vs. teams in the RPI Top 200 (3 non-conference wins)
1-3 vs. 101-200 (0-2 on the road, 1-3 non-conference)
2-3 vs. 51-100 (0-3 on the road, 2-3 non-conference)
0-3 vs. 1-50

60. Belmont (RPI 110)
7-6 vs. teams in the RPI Top 200 (5 non-conference wins)
6-3 vs. 101-200 (1-2 on the road, 2-0 neutral, 4-1 non-conference)
1-1 vs. 51-100 (0-1 on the road, 1-0 neutral, 1-0 non-conference)
0-2 vs. 1-50

61. Texas Southern (RPI 118)
2-10 vs. teams in the RPI Top 200 (2 non-conference wins)
0-3 vs. 101-200 (0-3 on the road)
1-4 vs. 51-100 (1-4 on the road, 1-4 non-conference)
1-3 vs. 1-50 (1-3 on the road, 1-3 non-conference)

62. North Dakota State (RPI 96)
5-6 vs. teams in the RPI Top 200 (3 non-conference wins)
5-3 vs. 101-200 (0-3 on the road, 2-0 neutral, 3-1 non-conference)
0-1 vs. 51-100 (0-1 neutral)
0-2 vs. 1-50

The thing you'll notice is that of the 12 teams listed here, only New Mexico State and North Dakota State do not have at least one win on the road/neutral against a team in the RPI Top 200.

Some might question why UAB received a 14-seed while the Aggies with a better record were given a 15-seed and that's a valid question, particularly with UAB's RPI at 130 and the Aggies' RPI at 108. Again, it comes down to "quality wins" or the lack thereof and specifically road wins. The Aggies were 0-5 on the road against the RPI Top 200, UAB was 4-7 vs. the RPI Top 200 on the road/neutral and also picked up a Top 50 RPI win at home. Overall, UAB was 8-10 vs. the RPI Top 200 and the Aggies were just 3-9.

The Aggies' resume also doesn't stack up to the other 14 seeds in terms of quality road wins and quality non-conference wins. Consider this quote from NCAA Tournament Selection Committee Chair Scott Barnes when addressing Colorado State's exclusion from the tournament: "Then the lack of any true road wins against teams in the top 100 was also a factor.” In the case of New Mexico State, that number is zero whereas three of the four teams on the 14-seed line have one road or neutral Top 100 win, the exception being Georgia State whose RPI is nearly 50 spots better than New Mexico State's.

While it's certainly disappointing for the Aggie fans, players and coaches, it's pretty simple when you compare the numbers to see why the Aggies were given the seed that they were given.

The game against Kansas is a daunting task but it's called March Madness for a reason. The game is played on the court and not on paper which is why no matter what the seed, there's always a chance.