As it turns out, Georgia wasn't closely considered for one of the final at-large bids in the NCAA Tournament.
The Bulldogs were not among the first four teams out of the field of 68, with those teams automatically becoming the top seeds in the NIT. Those teams are California, Illinois State, Iowa and Syracuse.
At 8:30 p.m., the NIT will reveal its bracket, with Georgia possibly earning a No. 2 seed at best, which would give it give it home court advantage for the first round and another home game in the event of a win.
But for the sake of this exercise, let's compare Georgia to Kansas State, the final team that earned a berth into the NCAA Tournament. While at least four teams were ahead of the Bulldogs on the outside, it's still worth comparing what Georgia could have done to be in Kansas State's position.
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Here's a quick look at the two teams' resumes:
ESPN BPI: 67
Record vs. 1-50: 1-9
Record vs. 51-100: 6-4
Record vs. 101-200: 9-1
Record vs. 200-plus: 2-0
Combined road and neutral record: 7-9
Total strength of schedule rank: 14
Non-conference strength of schedule rank: 21
Strengths and weaknesses of resume: The best thing Georgia had going was its strength of schedule. A tough SEC slate that featured Kentucky, Florida and South Carolina twice, along with tournament teams Vanderbilt and Arkansas, helped boost this ranking into the top-15. Georgia's road and neutral record is solid with seven wins. And when you count games against teams ranked 51-100 Georgia has seven wins.
But the Bulldogs' inability to secure more than one top-50 win to go with an unfavorable ranking in the ESPN BPI don't do them any favors. If Georgia would have been able to flip games those road overtime losses against Kentucky and Florida, perhaps this is a different story.
Kansas State Wildcats
ESPN BPI: 35
Record vs. 1-50: 4-9
Record vs. 51-100: 2-2
Record vs. 101-200: 8-2
Record vs. 200-plus: 6-0
Combined road and neutral record: 9-8
Total strength of schedule rank: 39
Non-conference strength of schedule rank: 230
Strengths and weaknesses of resume: First and foremost, Kansas State getting four top-50 wins is likely the deciding factor for inclusion into the NCAA Tournament. The Wildcats defeated Baylor for the second time in the Big 12 Tournament, which may have been what ultimately got them into the field. While the RPI and KPI placed Georgia ahead of Kansas State, other computer rankings such as the ESPN BPI, KenPom and Sagarin felt much differently and gave the Wildcats a sizable edge.
It would also appear these computer rankings combined with four top-50 wins were more than enough to offset a poor non-conference strength of schedule and two sub-100 losses to Texas Tech and Oklahoma.
What to make of this
Top-50 wins look to once again be what this year's selection committee was looking for. Kansas State's four top-50 wins seemed to be enough in the grand scheme of things. In addition, the fact that Syracuse (six top-50 wins), Iowa (five) and California (two) earned No. 1 seeds in the NIT would also seem to be evidence that the committee ranked teams with more top-50 wins against one another. Illinois State is a different story as the Redbirds are like Georgia with only one top-50 win.
It also seemed the selection committee took into account more than just one computer metric. Georgia had better RPI and KPI rankings than Kansas State. But Georgia was viewed as a top 60-70 team in the ESPN BPI, KenPom and Sagarin. Kansas State, however, received much favorable values in those computer rankings, which possibly boosted its profile enough to be in contention for that final tourney spot.
In conclusion, top-50 wins are very important. In the absence of those, doing enough to impress certain computers in comparison to other bubble teams appeared important.
Why certain computers valued Kansas State's season differently, and better, than others is up to the creator and the specific formula. But when comparing Georgia and Kansas State, the top-50 wins and rankings not named RPI or KPI were the difference.