NCAA Tournament 2017: Syracuse, Illinois State Among Biggest Snubs


March 12, 2017

Selection Sunday has come and gone, and 68 teams were selected to compete in the 2017 NCAA Tournament.

While there were a multitude of no-brainers, there certainly were a handful of teams that probably should have earned bids into the Big Dance.

With that said, here are three March Madness snubs.

SYRACUSE (18-14, 10-8 ACC)
While we’re used to Syracuse being a fixture in the NCAA Tournament, the Orange were surprisingly not selected to the Big Dance this year. Syracuse’s road record probably was the major knock on its tournament bid, as the Orange were a putrid 2-11 away from the Carrier Dome. However, judging by strength of schedule and high-profile victories, Syracuse had a pretty impressive résumé. The Orange logged victories against several tournament-bound teams, including Duke, Virginia, Florida State, Wake Forest and Miami. Jim Boeheim’s squad wasn’t wildly impressive this season by any means, but its complete body of work should have warranted a tournament berth.

ILLINOIS STATE (27-6, 17-1 Missouri Valley)
Although the Missouri Valley Conference isn’t exactly the most grueling conference in college basketball, the Redbirds probably should have punched a ticket to March Madness. Illinois State ultimately was plagued by its schedule; it only played one tournament-bound team all season. The Redbirds squared off against Wichita State three times over the course of the season, posting a 1-2 record against the Shockers. While a six-loss season typically earns an NCAA tournament berth, Illinois State was troubled by bad losses to San Francisco and Murray State.

IOWA (18-14, 10-8 Big Ten)
The Hawkeyes’ late-season surge nearly earned them a March Madness bid. Iowa earned some impressive victories down the stretch, including wins over Wisconsin and Maryland. The Hawkeyes appeared to be rolling at the right time, but they were thumped by Indiana in the second round of the Big Ten tournament. Iowa also had wins over Michigan and Purdue on its résumé, but bad losses to Omaha and Nebraska didn’t do it any favors. For what it’s worth, the Hawkeyes had narrow defeats to Minnesota and Michigan State, but the committee doesn’t value moral victories.

Click for a printable March Madness bracket >>

Thumbnail photo via Jamie Rhodes/USA TODAY Sports Images

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