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NCAA tournament 2012: How did those teams get in?

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But a more immediate question involves the selection of very borderline Big East teams like ninth-seeded Connecticut, 10th-seeded West Virginia, and the University of South Florida - the latter of whom is playing in the “First Four” in Dayton, Ohio Wednesday to try and secure a 12th-seed in that elimination round. All told, nine teams from the Big East made the tournament – an inflated number at best.

West Virginia lost eight of nine games against ranked teams and was only 9-9 in the Big East. Not only that, it lost its first-round Big East tournament game to Connecticut. They were then, as some have reported, "rewarded" for their efforts with what amounts to a home game (in nearby Pittsburgh) against visiting Gonzaga who, despite their being seeded seventh, will have to travel the breadth of the country to play them.

The Huskies, for their part, finished at 19-12 for the regular season, 8-10 overall in the Big East (9th of 13 teams) and then lost to Syracuse in the quarterfinals of the Big East Tournament. They also lost four of their last five regular season games, with the only win being against Pittsburgh, who isn’t in the tournament and finished 5-13 in the Big East. Connecticut’s record is more worthy of the National Invitation Tournament (NIT), though they were never really seriously discussed as a “bubble” team.

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