Dan Muller, head coach of the Illinois State Redbirds is subtlety and politely telling the the NCAA Men’s Basketball Selection Committee where it can stick its rankings.
The Redbirds were 27-6 this year, 17-1 in the Missouri Valley Conference – and was the No. 1 seed over Wichita State in their conference tournament becuase of it’s higher RPI. Which was No. 33 in the country.
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But after a blow out loss in the MVC championship game Illinois State has been named a No. 1 seed in the NIT Tournament, and among the first four out of the NCAA Championship Tournament.
So what’s with Muller’s tweet?
Although the committee says it regards a team’s RPI very highly in it’s selection process, that’s not the only thing that matters. As much as the committee doesn’t want you to believe, teams have to play the ‘big boys’ of the power five conferences to keep playing by the end of March.
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But teams like Illinois State are stuck, becuase power five teams don’t want to risk playing a game (especially a road game) against mid majors like the Redbirds. The blue bloods don’t gain a thing by winnings those games, but if they lose it could keep them out of the tournament – like it did to Syracuse this year.
So Muller’s tweet is just letting the committee know, his team’s unavoidably weak schedule in a down year for the MVC, is not his fault. The ACC, Big 10, Big 12, SEC, Pac 12 and Big East aren’t helping him any by not agreeing to play against his squad.