Now that the dust has settled, it’s still hard to accept the fact that the WVU baseball team’s season has come to a close.
After the Mountaineers fell to TCU in the Big 12 Championship game, they waited on Monday for a call to the big dance.
It was a call that never came.
West Virginia was left out of the NCAA Tournament after compiling a record of 36-21, including a 10-game winning streak in the final month of the regular season. The Mountaineers were on the bubble entering the Big 12 Conference Tournament, needing to win a handful of games in order to earn an at-large bid to the NCAA Tournament.
More than likely, though, the Mountaineers would have had to win the entire conference tournament to punch an automatic ticket to the NCAA field of 64.
Turns out, that’s exactly what needed to happen for this West Virginia squad.
The Mountaineers did not qualify for the NCAA Tournament despite a remarkable run to the Big 12 title game. The WVU baseball team racked up three dominant victories in the league tournament and gave TCU all it could handle in the title tilt.
Yet, it wasn’t enough to impress the NCAA Tournament committee. What ultimately coast the WVU baseball team was a mediocre 12-11 in-season conference record as well as two bad losses to Canisuis at the end of March and a pair of losses to Furman in the early part of April.
So, the committee took into account the entire 2016 campaign for the Mountaineers, and not just the part where they went 17 of 21 in the final month of the regular season.
It was the opposite condition of the 2013 WVU baseball team. That squad finished with an overall record of 33-26, but lost more at the end of the season.
Back to 2016, the WVU baseball team wasn’t the only deserving squad that was knocking on the door of a berth to the NCAA Tournament and didn’t get an answer.
No bigger snub was Kent State, who lost in the Mid-American Conference Championship to Western Michigan. Still, the Golden Flashes, who went to the big dance in 2012, finished with a record of 44-14.
In terms of RBI, North Carolina had a No. 18 rating and still couldn’t get in. That could be why the ACC had a whopping total of 11 teams make the NCAA Tournament. Not every ACC team could make it, so if the Tar Heels fell that low in the conference standings, they didn’t deserve to be among the nation’s best either.
Also shocking was the fact that Oregon State did not make the NCAA Tournament.
The Beavers finished with an overall record of 35-19, but only went 16-14 within the Pac-12 Conference. OSU also had a bad loss to Portland, similar to the West Virginia setbacks against Canisuis and Furman.
At least misery loves company. These select teams were, unfortunately, not selected when it mattered most.
It’s now time for the Tar Heels, Golden Flashes, Beavers and Randy Mazey’s Mountaineers to buckle down and get back after it next season.