Rick Pitino rails on 'fraudulent' March Madness metrics with St. John's out

Rick Pitino Criticizes ‘Deceptive’ March Madness Selection Criteria as St. John’s Misses Out

St. John’s didn’t make it into the NCAA Tournament this Sunday, and it seems like they were never in the running.

Despite a strong finish to the season with six consecutive victories and a near win against the reigning champs, UConn, in the Big East Tournament semifinals, they didn’t make the cut. Not only did they miss the 68-team lineup, but they also weren’t in the first four teams waiting in line, as announced by the selection committee.

Rick Pitino, the team’s head coach, expressed his wish to comfort his players after the disappointing news. He shared his feelings via Zoom, as the team had decided to watch the selection show in private, anticipating the letdown.

The team’s exclusion was unexpected, especially with their No. 32 NET ranking. This weekend, unexpected winners in other tournaments pushed St. John’s completely off the bubble.

The highest NET ranking previously overlooked for the tournament was North Carolina State at 33 in 2019, making St. John’s exclusion a new record.

Pitino criticized the NET ranking system, calling it “fraudulent” and questioning its relevance, despite the team’s strong schedule and efforts.

The last four teams to make it into the tournament were Virginia, Colorado State, Boise State, and Colorado. Meanwhile, Oklahoma, Seton Hall, Indiana State, and Pittsburgh were the first four out.

St. John’s aimed to return to the tournament for the first time since 2019, hoping to capitalize on their recent success for a win, which hasn’t happened since 2000.

Pitino also aimed to be the first coach to lead six different schools to the NCAA Tournament.

He stressed that the only success is in making it to the tournament, noting the team’s disappointment as the selection progressed.

St. John’s has decided to decline an NIT bid, ending their season to focus on recruiting new players, as Pitino mentioned the need for “seven or eight” new recruits.

This year’s tournament saw only 11 of 32 top-seeded teams winning their conferences, with unexpected winners shaking up the selection process.

Despite a strong NET ranking, St. John’s did not secure a spot in the NCAA Tournament.

The Post offers a printable NCAA bracket for the full 68-team March Madness 2024 field for fans.

Pitino acknowledged the committee’s difficult decisions and accepted the outcome without bitterness, emphasizing the importance of moving forward without resentment.