As this time of year approaches it brings with it many quandaries. Who to put in the tournament and who to leave out. Do you reward teams like Maryland for playing a difficult schedule but struggled to an 18-11 record or a team like Davidson? Maryland has wins over UNC, VA Tech, Michigan, Miami and @ Michigan State, but they were blown out by Georgetown, Duke and Gonzaga. I believe it isn't just good enough to have solid teams on your schedule. You have to win at least one of those games to prove you belong. I believe that if you prove you can BEAT a good team it should go a long way toward solidifying your tournament resume. Davidson beat WVU @ WVU and N.C. State.
I think it depends on what you believe the committee's job should be. Is it to reward a team for their regular season or is it to put teams in the tournament that has a legitimate chance to win it all? If it is the former you may lean to Siena and if it is the latter, you may lean towards Maryland. If you match the Sienas and Niagaras of the college basketball world against the Marylands and Villanovas of the world, the UMDs and Villanovas win at least 8 out of 10 times. Maryland and Villanova could beat any team in the tournament 4 out of 10 times. I don't believe the same is true for most of the smaller conference teams. Other than UNLV in '90 who had 4 NBA players on their starting 5, there hasn't been a team from outside the major conferences win an NCAA basketball title since
Loyola in 1963. Another point worth making is that only two seeds #8 and above have ever made the championship game - Villanova and UCLA - both from BCS conferences.
I know it sounds like I think the big conferences should get the nod, but that is where my dilemma begins. There is nothing more exciting than watching a team like George Mason from 2006 or Davidson from last year pull off upsets and advance through the tourney. I always have a hard time making up my mind about what I want the selection committee to focus on. I am glad I don't have to choose.