Akron went 26-7 overall and finished the season with a Ratings Percentage Index of 66.
They went 13-3 in the Mid-America Conference (MAC), a mature, stable league that has spawned multiple Sweet 16 teams in the past. While Akron had the best overall record among the MAC’s 12 teams, they finished one game behind Toledo (19-12 overall, but 14-2 in the MAC) in the conference standings. Toledo got the MAC’s automatic NIT bid as a result.
Akron also lost the MAC Championship Game to Miami (OH) by one point on a last second miracle three-point shot. Miami got the MAC’s automatic NCAA bid as a result.
Still . . . with a 66 RPI, and 64 teams going to the NCAA Tournament, and 32 more going to the NIT (96 total), it seems pretty obvious that Akron should still be playing, right?
Not to the NCAA and NIT selection committees, it didn’t.
What an awful decision. What an unfortunate slight to a really accomplished college team.
I won’t write any more about the selection process after this post . . . but suffice to say that I’ve been really actively following NCAA Men’s Basketball for the better part of 30+ years, and I can’t recall a time when the post-season selection results were as poor, “Big Six” money conference biased, and unfair as they were this year.