After a successful regular season and falling in the MAC semi-finals, it was almost certain that Buffalo Bulls Women’s Basketball’s season wasn’t over. UB had a very strong case to be selected for the Women’s National Invitation Tournament after the 22-10 (10-8 MAC) year.
But, to much surprise when the field of 64 was unveiled, UB was nowhere to be found.
This isn’t your usual case of being snubbed. We’re not debating whether an RPI 84 team should make the NCAAM tournament, instead, we’re wondering how a top-100 team missed out of the WNIT.
Two years ago the Bulls had an even worse 19-13 record to make the WNIT with a non-conference slate with almost no quality teams on it. This year, Buffalo had a mixed bag of a non-conference schedule, but they beat almost all of the quality teams on it. Harvard is the only out of conference foe in the field of 64 that UB didn’t beat.
Even worse, five MAC teams received bids. Central Michigan was the automatic qualifier for the conference along with at-larges for Ball State (21-10), Ohio (22-9), Northern Illinois (21-11), and even Kent State (19-12).
Also take this list of teams into consideration:
- Sacred Heart
- Kent State
- Central Michigan
- Ball State
Each of the teams above are in the field of 64 through automatic qualifier or at-large big. Buffalo beat every single one of those teams at least once this season. Also, Duquesne (124), Fordham (132), and Ball State (123) all had lower RPIs than UB’s 98.
This is not only a clear snub, but an embarrassment for the WNIT committee. There is no reason that teams like 15-15 Colorado should be in this field before the Bulls. None.
Just like that, Buffalo’s season is now officially over. Buffalo had a team that could win 3-4 games in this tournament when playing their best. Instead, UB fans now have to wait until November for another game and will never get to see JoAnna Smith don the blue and white one last time.
Here’s what some of the Buffalo media and Coach Jack had to say:
I am really proud of our WBB team. We worked hard, played the right way, layer our passion on the line nightly. Sadly didnt make the WNIT.— Felisha Legette-Jack (@UBCoachJack) March 14, 2017
.@UBwomenshoops does not make the WNIT... 4 other MAC teams made it.— Tom Martin (@4TomMartin) March 14, 2017
UB beat all four of those teams.
Wish senior JoAnna Smith would have gotten a chance to keep playing. Deserved a shot at winning five more games.— Tom Martin (@4TomMartin) March 14, 2017
For shame WNIT selection committee, for shame.