Notre Dame’s bubble finally burst on Sunday night when the official NCAA Tournament brackets were revealed. After three days of speculation about whether or not the Irish would get the benefit of the doubt from the committee now that they are almost back to full strength, we found out Bonzie Colson and Matt Farrell would not get one more chance to lead the Irish on a tournament run.
The news wasn’t overly surprising – even if the committee selected a couple of teams (looking at you Oklahoma and Syracuse) that the Irish had valid arguments over.
When Notre Dame lost to Miami in the final week of the season ti set up a scenario where the Irish needed to either beat #1 ranked UVA in the season finale or win at least three games in the ACC Tournament to ensure their selection. When neither of those happened, the Irish’s fate was let in the hands of the selection committee. And in case you haven’t been paying attention to the way the NCAA has been dealing with Notre Dame lately, they weren’t going to do Notre Dame any favors.
By the way, remember when Notre Dame beat Syracuse on their own court without their best two players and then Syracuse got in over the Irish? Syracuse was the last team in the tournament and Notre Dame was the first team left out. Neat.
Had Davidson not upset Rhode Island in the Atlantic 10 Tournament and took away one of the at large bids from a bubble team, the Irish would have been in. But back to Syracuse for a minute. How again does the committee select Syracuse over Notre Dame when the two had identical 8-10 ACC records with the road win minus their best two players in their favor?
Like I said though, this isn’t the first time the NCAA has given Notre Dame the shaft this year so we all should have expected this.
With another NCAA Tournament bid off the table, Notre Dame is headed to the NIT as a #1 seed where they will face off against Hampton Tuesday at 9:00 on ESPN at Purcell Pavillion. Assuming Colson, Farrell, and the rest of the Irish can get past their disappointment, they could use the NIT to show the NCAA and the world that they should be in the Big Dance. Even that will be of little consolation though to a team who entered this season with Final Four dreams before injuries turned the season into a nightmare.