Rick Pitino insists on ‘fraudulent’ March Madness metrics with St. John’s out

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By journalsofus.com

college basketball

march madness 2024

The NCAA Tournament bubble for St. John’s didn’t burst Sunday as it turned out it never really existed.

The selection committee revealed that in addition to being left out of the 68-team bracket, St. John’s was also not among the first four teams out of the NCAA Tournament, despite a late-season surge that included six straight wins and advancing defense. Was. National champion UConn reached the Big East Tournament semifinals.

“If I could hug the players and take the pain away, I would wave my magic wand and do that,” head coach Rick Pitino said via Zoom after watching the team’s selection show in person. , because his sense of despair was looming. “But unfortunately I couldn’t do that.”

A weekend of automatic-bid-stealing events across the country left St. John’s (20-13, 11-9) completely off the bubble, which is a no-brainer given its NET ranking (NCAA evaluation tool) of No. 32. Surprise.

St. John’s Red Storm head coach Rick Pitino reacts against the Connecticut Huskies during the first half at Madison Square Garden. Robert Deutsch-USA TODAY Sports

Since the advent of the all-important metric, the highest net-ranked team to miss the tournament was North Carolina State (33) in 2019… until now.

“I think we should all probably never mention that word again [NET] Again because it’s fraud,” Pitino said. “I think the Nets are something that shouldn’t be mentioned anymore. I think we had a good strength of schedule [in] kenpom [rankings], Why mention it? We tried to play a tough schedule, we tried to do things the right way, and we didn’t succeed. But I never make excuses.

The final four teams were Virginia, Colorado State, Boise State and Colorado, setting up two opening week play-in matchups in Dayton, Ohio for a pair of No. 10 seeds.

The first four teams to drop out were Oklahoma, Seton Hall, Indiana State and Pittsburgh.

St. John’s was looking to attend the tournament for the first time since 2019, hoping to ride its hot streak to its first win in the Big Dance since 2000.

Pitino was trying to become the first coach to get six different schools to the NCAA Tournament.

“There’s no consolation — whether you’re in the final four, first four — the only thing about it is making it,” Pitino said. “Even though our players were excited and very excited, the room became more somber with each round.”

St. John’s will decline a bid to the NIT, ending its season and focusing on the transfer portal because Pitino says it needs to recruit “seven or eight” new players.

Only 11 of the 32 conference tournaments were won by the top seeds and the madness began early.

North Carolina State (ACC), Oregon (Pac-12), Duquesne (Atlantic 10) and UAB (American Athletic Conference) spoiled the party by unexpectedly winning the conference tournament, and Richard Pitino Jr.-coached New Mexico by winning Out of the bubble. Mountain West.

Despite a NET ranking of 32, St. John’s did not make the NCAA Tournament. Charles Wenzelberg/New York Post

The post has you covered with a printable NCAA bracket that includes the entire 68-team March Madness 2024 field.

“Every possible mistake happened and all three of us were really hurt by it,” Pitino said. “You have to say that the committee did its best. We were not considered…and we moved on.”

St. John’s seemed to punch its ticket to the Big East Tournament quarterfinals on Friday with a blowout win over Seton Hall, avenging two regular season losses.

Instead, the result also eliminated the Pirates from the bracket, and the Big East was left with only three teams as Providence joined St. John’s and Seton Hall in disappointment.

Pitino said he knew St. John’s was “going to have a very difficult time making it” after losing in the tournament to Colorado, Florida Atlantic and North Carolina. This is the first time in his long coaching career that he has experienced a bubble burst – if a bubble burst at all.

“We’re not going to complain, we’re not going to say we screwed up,” Pitino said. “Bitterness doesn’t help. There is so much bitterness in my life that will remain for the rest of my life.”

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