Everyone knows the deal by now. Northwestern has never made the NCAA Tournament. Not one time… ever. There are very few of these teams left, and to accomplish this feat in a major conference is virtually impossible. Word is that the committee shows no sympathy for a team that has a never been there. I wanted to take a look at how Northwestern stacks up against another team from a big conference. Texas seemed like a proper comparison for a Bubble to Bubble segment.
I have heard many arguments over the past week that “Texas is the best team not currently in the field”. OK, that’s fine. Texas has missed a number of close opportunities. I also have them ranked much higher than Northwestern. These two teams have almost identical profiles. Texas non-conference schedule consisted mostly of hosting small Texas schools, which is fine. A road win over UCLA and home win over Temple are the highlights. Northwestern beat LSU and Seton Hall on a neutral floor.
The real difference I believe comes in the number of quality wins. Without a home win over Michigan State, Northwestern’s profile really falls apart. This team got 11! shots at top 50 opponents and won only 1 of them. Does this team really deserve to be rewarded for that win with all else ignored? I don’t think so. I think Texas took care of business at home and beat quality opponents. When all is said and done, Texas will have 2 more wins against tournament teams, and I think that makes the difference. Advantage: TEXAS