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Pac-12 Confidential

Bud Withers offers an inside look at the Pac-12 Conference and the national college scene.

March 11, 2012 at 10:16 PM

A stunning revelation from the basketball committee . . .

I had to verify this when I first saw the story, and did. On the TruTV special that followed the NCAA selection show Sunday, chairman Jeff Hathaway and vice chair Mike Bobinski named not only the first four left out of the field but two more that would have been voted upon had Xavier beaten St. Bonaventure and preserved one more spot in the field.

The last four out: Oral Roberts, Miami, Nevada, Drexel.

“You put up (on a board) the last four,” Hathaway told host Greg Gumbel. “We really had a last six. We also had Mississippi State on there, and Seton Hall on there.”

Thus, the conclusion: Washington wasn’t even among the last six out, which I find shocking. Joe Lunardi, the respected ESPN bracketologist, had the Huskies on Friday as the last one in, and by Saturday, the first one out, and later Sunday, when St. Bonaventure stole a bid, he had them as the No. 2 team out. So he was at least five spots off on Washington.

I e-mailed NCAA staffer David Worlock, who’s in on the committee selections, and he wrote back: “That’s correct, but it’s not to say Washington wasn’t strongly considered. The committee had to whittle down the list. The votes were taken prior to that to get to a point where six teams were remaining on the under-consideration board. Then, had Xavier won, there would have been a ranking of those six teams, with the winner getting the final at-large bid.”

In other words, all true. The whole thing speaks to the depth of the lack of respect the committee had this year for the Pac-12.

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