Is Texas A&M basketball the biggest NCAA Tourney snub in of all time?

Buzz Williams, Texas A&M basketball Mandatory Credit: Christopher Hanewinckel-USA TODAY Sports
Buzz Williams, Texas A&M basketball Mandatory Credit: Christopher Hanewinckel-USA TODAY Sports /

Unless you’ve been living under a rock, you know that the Texas A&M basketball team was snubbed from the NCAA Tournament. Virtually every media outlet has pinned the Aggies as the biggest snub — in a way, it has made this basketball team infamous in college sports this year.

But why were the Aggies snubbed in the first place?

There’s no fun answer here. Without a doubt, Texas A&M should have been in the NCAA Tournament. When looking for a true reason why they are not, there are a few clear answers which are listed below.

  • The committee had their brackets set before the SEC Tournament
  • Texas A&M’s brand wasn’t large enough and wouldn’t bring in TV money
  • The committee is flat-out stupid

Is the Texas A&M basketball team the biggest snub in NCAA Tournament history?

To be completely transparent, the answer to this question is a very hard “maybe.” There have been some pretty bad snubs over the years and it’s hard to compare year-to-year. That said, A&M might have secured a clear spot in the top ten biggest snubs of all time with this one.

The frustrating part here is that Texas A&M proved itself when it mattered most — A&M was undeniably one of the hottest teams in the entire country over the past few weeks, exemplified in the SEC Tournament. The Aggies accumulated a ranked win against Alabama at the end of their regular season schedule before knocking off two top-15 teams in Arkansas and Auburn during an SEC Tournament run that ended in the final.

Most frustratingly, the Aggies had a distinctly better resume than a large handful of teams that gained entrance. Here’s a direct comparison on my personal Twitter account between Texas A&M and Michigan, a team that earned an 11 seed this year.

(Team A is Texas A&M and Team B is Michigan)

So why did the Wolverines get into the big dance while the Aggies will be competing as a 1 seed in the NIT Tournament? Again, I listed some reasons above, but the answer that you’ll get from the committee is “strength of schedule,” which is the most flawed statistic in college sports.

For starters, strength of schedule will boost your chances of earning a bid to the tournament regardless of your results against that schedule. Here’s an example of how it impacts NET rankings, which is one of the top metrics used by the committee.

Rutgers and Michigan play in the same conference. Michigan played more Quad 1 teams but won fewer games than Rutgers against those teams. Rutgers had six Quad 1 wins to Michigan’s five while playing three fewer Quad 1 matchups. Still, the metric favors Michigan due to the fact that they have played tougher teams all season long.

Losses against good teams are valued more than wins over good teams.

Next. Quenton Jackson's player of the week stat highlights. dark

There’s no other way to put it — the system is more messed up than it has ever been. Texas A&M might be one of the worst snubs of all time and it’s only going to get worse from here.