Drexel Snubbed, Placed into NIT

The Drexel Dragons. A team that burst onto the scene this year with 27 wins, 16 of which came within their own conference. A 19-game winning streak second to only the #1 team in the country Kentucky. Drexel captured the CAA regular season crown, and then dispatched UNCW and ODU on their way to the CAA finals. Finally ,they lost a thrilling game to VCU, a good team which now has a #12 seed and is predicted by some to reach the Sweet 16. The loss to VCU ended up being the cause of the Drexel Dragons not making the Big Dance. If they had won the game, they would have taken the CAA and received an automatic bid into the tournament.

Drexel players will not go to the Big Dance this season after losing the CAA title game (Washington Post).

So, for all their hard work, dedication, and struggle, the committee looked where to fill out their final spots. They went to following four teams: Iona, BYU, USF, and California. What was their main reason for not putting in Drexel? Strength of Schedule, and their RPI. Drexel’s strength of schedule admittedly was not that amazing (248), and their RPI (64) also was unspectacular.

However, NCAA committee, no matter how good a team is, think about this: How often do you see a team win 19 straight? Well, you saw a number 1 team do it. Just because Drexel did it against weaker teams should not take away from the fact they won 19 in a row. Over the past two months, Iona, BYU, USF, and California were nowhere near the playing capabilities of the Drexel Dragons.

Speaking of USF, their at-large bid leaves Drexel fans confused and a little frustrated.

Listen to their out of conference losses: Old Dominion, VCU, Penn State, and Auburn. These are awful losses, and ODU is a team that Drexel has beaten twice. USF was 8-7 out of the conference! Drexel was 11-4. The only reason the Bulls got in was because they were a Big East team. The NCAA committee did a decent job of selecting teams from mid-majors, but the USF selection was just plain awful.

In addition, I’m a little shaky on the committee taking Iona over Drexel. Sure, Iona had a bunch of top 50 games, but they only won 1. Also, they never, ever played a team ranked in the top 25. So how did they prove that they were the better team than Drexel when they played the same number or ranked teams? How? They lost in their conference semifinals, in a conference weaker than the CAA! Drexel lost in the finals to a capable VCU team. Plus Drexel lost by 3, after coming back from a 16-point deficit. Iona was beaten by 10.

Freshman Damion Lee will try again next year to put Drexel in the tourney (Hawks Blog).

Even John Calipari, coach of the #1 overall seed Kentucky, expressed his distaste in the selection. “I don’t know how Iona gets in instead of Drexel”, he remarked on Sunday night. Many people around the country are also wondering how the Gaels got in over the Drexel Dragons.

The NCAA has to realize that Drexel cannot physically re-schedule their games against major teams that simply do not want to play them. This is unfair to a team that has proven that they are one of the better teams out there, and they don’t get what they truly deserved. Now senior Samme Givens, who had by far his beast season. will not be able to taste the tournament. Drexel now heads to NIT as a #3 seed. Their first game is against UCF on Wednesday at 7:15 P.M. This is not the fate that Drexel deserved.


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Categories: CBB, Drexel

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