Even Ken Pom Was Mentioned.
There will inevitably be a few teams on Selection Sunday that believe they were unfairly left out of the field of 68. Nevertheless, not many of them have a governor who is now in office to speak for them.
Despite having a successful season in the Big Ten, the Rutgers men’s team was on the outside looking in on Sunday night. Due in large part to one of the strongest defenses in the country, the Scarlet Knights finished the season 19-14 overall and 10-10 in the league. Rutgers was one of the final four at-large picks in Sports Illustrated’s Kevin Sweeney’s final bracket projection. Yet the New Jersey school was overlooked when the selection committee announced its choices on Sunday night.
So what did Phil Murphy, the governor of New Jersey, tweet about the first thing on Monday? supporting the premier public university in his state.
Rutgers was the second team eliminated from the field, according to the selection committee (after Oklahoma State). It’s been a long time since I’ve been this excited about a book. They had won some amazing battles, but they had also faltered against some weaker foes. The season’s final defeats to Nebraska and Minnesota were extremely painful.
Last season, Rutgers narrowly missed the NCAA tournament by qualifying as one of the final four teams, but they fell to Notre Dame in the First Four. In 2021, the Scarlet Knights, who were making their first NCAA tournament debut in 30 years, advanced to the second round.
Yet this year, New Jersey wasn’t barred from the tournament. Princeton and Fairleigh Dickinson, two private colleges from the state, received invitations automatically. Murphy congratulated the Knights in a letter on making the field. He obviously wishes the biggest school in the state was going dancing, though.