With Selection Sunday in college basketball just a day away, there are a lot of teams that are going to spend the next 22 hours sweating.
One of those teams is the Vanderbilt Commodores.
They were eliminated from the SEC Tournament by Texas A&M in the semifinals today.
The loss likely leaves them on the wrong side of the NCAA Tournament bubble.
However, head coach Jerry Stackhouse says he doesn’t have a doubt in his mind that they belong in the March Madness field.
Vanderbilt coach Jerry Stackhouse: “Yeah, we belong in the NCAA Tournament. Ain’t no doubt in my mind about that.”
— Pat Forde (@ByPatForde) March 11, 2023
Not only does Stackhouse believe they belong in the tournament, but Joe Lunardi has also said he thinks Vanderbilt is clearly an NCAA Tournament team.
However, the actual case for the Commodores is a bit unclear. This is a team that lost to Southern Miss and Grambling State during their non-conference schedule. Their strongest non-conference win was at home against a Pitt team that also finds themselves hovering around the bubble.
During conference play, they picked up solid wins over tournament teams like Arkansas, Auburn, and Kentucky before their big tournament win over Kentucky yesterday. Unfortunately, those wins over Kentucky don’t mean as much as they would have in years past.
Every team around the bubble seems to have somewhat of a questionable resume right now, but many of those other teams were able to pick up a signature win that stands out on their resume or don’t have bad losses on their record.
Arizona State beat Arizona in Tucson. Rutgers went to Purdue and picked up a win. Providence’s worst loss is at St John’s. Penn State’s worst loss is at Nebraska and they’re playing in the Big 10 final.
Vanderbilt made a valiant effort to get themselves into the tournament field with their run to the SEC semifinal, but Lunardi was probably right when he said the Commodores could have needed another win to get in.