NCAA Tournament Snubs 2012: Washington Didn't Help Themselves When They Had the Chance

I realize the the title of the article starts with the word "snubs" then ends in acknowledgement that Washington really didn't do themselves any favors when it came to a berth in the NCAA Tournament. Regardless, here we are - UW is the first 'big six' power conference champion to miss the NCAA tournament- that seems like a snub. But, I can also understand the reasoning to leave them out.

I saw an article on Saturday that said it best - Eamonn Brennan of ESPN.com, in his Bubble Watch column, wrote:

It's official: Washington fans have absolutely no right to complain about the Huskies' "lack of respect" in regard to their at-large NCAA tournament chances. When you have this resume -- when your best nonconference win is UC Santa Barbara and your best league win (and the only top-75 victory) is at home against Oregon -- you simply cannot afford to end the Pac-12 tournament the way the Huskies ended theirs.

Thursday's second-round loss to Oregon State may well spell "NIT" for the Huskies. They have the regular-season conference title going for them and ... that's pretty much it. They're 1-8 against the RPI top 50, 4-8 against the top 100, 6-8 away from their own building, with an RPI outside the top 50. Nothing about this resume screams NCAA tournament team.

The Huskies could have given themselves an automatic bid by winning the Pac-12 Tournament for the 3rd year in a row. Instead, they bowed out in the 2nd round - their first game after a first round bye - to Oregon State. The 9-seed. They could have helped themselves by beating a red-hot UCLA team the game before that to close out the regular season.

After losing to Oregon State and being eliminated from the Pac-12 Tournament, the Dawgs could have used a little help from some other teams. That, well, just didn't happen. First, Cal lost. Then, Arizona lost. This pushed UW even further off the bubble. That was followed with a Colorado win for the Pac-12 Title and automatic berth, then a St. Bonaventure win for an A-10 win and automatic berth, and the Huskies' fate was pretty much sealed. The Bonnies were another bubble team that the Dawgs could have hoped to beat out, but in their win they got an automatic bid and Xavier took another much-needed spot in the Dance as an eventual 10-seed.

As my esteemed colleague Scott Coleman wrote earlier today, "as far as the "eye test" goes, the Huskies certainly passed the test as an NCAA Tourney team. They ranked in the top-40 in terms of points-per-game and dominated the boards, ranking No. 5 overall in rebounds. UW features a ton of NBA talent as well; Tony Wroten is arguably the best player in the conference and can take over a game offensively, and Terrance Ross has the potential to become a star at the shooting guard position at the next level. C.J. Wilcox is a lethal shooter from outside, Aziz N'Diaye protects the rim with his size and length, and point guard Abdul Gaddy just makes everything flow on offense."

They just couldn't put it all together, and now look to their conciliatory prize - the NITs. As a No. 1 seed, Washingon will face No. 8 seed Texas-Arlington on Tuesday at 7:00 PM PT.

Romar on the Huskies path to the NIT:

"Mentally I've kind of been preparing myself for this a little more. Now I'm even moved on a little bit or as much as you can right now because you still hold for the one little bit of hope that maybe they'll call your name. It didn't happen. I say all of that to say, there's more games. We get to play more games. We get to be with this team longer. Darnell Gant and whoever else is not going to be here next year. We all get to be together a little longer. There's a lot of players coming back next year. We can continue to grow. It's something that I'm looking forward to doing."

Check back with our Selection Sunday StoryStream throughout the day, and the NCAA Tournament Selection Show, for the latest updates. Make sure you check back to SB Nation's Printable Bracket StoryStream to start making your picks.

Brackets on the brain? Us too! Play Yahoo! Tourney Pick'em and be a part of the craziest month of college basketball. It is fun, easy, and free.

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