Gamecock AD Ray Tanner says Clemson penalized for ACC scheduling
|Monday, May 28, 2018, 3:16 PM- -|
University of South Carolina Athletic Director Ray Tanner heads up the NCAA Selection Committee, and Tanner admitted that the Committee not only could've done a better job with Regional selection when it comes to the Clemson Regional, he indicated that Clemson was penalized because the Tigers didn’t play North Carolina this season. He also admitted that none of the metrics for seeds No. 6 thru No. 11 were "major" and that teams wound up in their spots because of the "luck of the draw."
Clemson was left out as one of the top eight national seeds Monday, earning a 10th seed when the selections were announced. The Tigers are paired up in the same bracket with Florida St., a team they’ve played four times, splitting the four games. The Seminoles earned a national seed, as did North Carolina, a team that won seven less games than the Tigers and didn’t make it out of pool play in the ACC Tournament.
The Clemson Regional also features a repeat of sorts of last year’s Regional – both St. John’s and Vanderbilt will make the trip to Clemson for a second consecutive year.
Texas Tech was named a No. 9 national seed after posting a No. 10 RPI (Clemson was 11th), with a 39-17 overall record and 15-9 in conference play.
Tanner said it was “difficult” to differentiate between teams after the top five seeds, but none of the factors were “major.”
“Well, Texas Tech, I think as you know, they were in a very good position for the majority of the year. They ended up finishing third,” Tanner said. “When we got past the national five, from 6 through 11, it was extremely difficult. We, as you know here at NCAA, and the technology that we have with all the metrics, it was almost like you could make an argument for 11 to 6 and 6 to 11. There were factors that came into play but none of them were major.
“So, I can get into some specifics but I'm just telling you, it was really, really, really close. You know, somebody might have had more Top-50 wins and somebody's strength of schedule might have been different. It wasn't clear-cut. There were some factors that were so close, and the committee ended up -- the final hour, we ended up making a decision to vote a particular way, and like I said, there's nine other votes besides mine and that's the way it shook out.”
Tanner then – sort of - admitted the committee made a mistake in placing St. John’s and Vanderbilt in the Clemson Regional.
“Well, you do try to avoid them (repeats) but there is legislation that you do not do it three years in a row, but it does not prohibit it from being two years in a row. I'm not sure there was a factor going into it,” Tanner said. “I think in hindsight, you can look back and say, would we have been able to make some adjustments, and you probably could, but then you're going to re-seed the whole field or you're going to make changes. That's one of those things that I don't think that -- certainly wasn't done intentionally.
“It's just the way that it fell, and had somebody noticed it immediately, it might have been different but it happened and there are a lot of repeats. Keep in mind when you're not seeding, other than 16, you can get some situations that develop more than one time.”
Tanner then said that Clemson being matched with Florida St. is the “luck of the draw.”
“You look at, just talking about the Nationals, the Florida State, the Clemson regional, are paired up. Is that an ideal situation? Well, probably not,” Tanner said. “People would say, oh, well, they are in the same conference. Because now we are doing seeds, you're not allowed to make those adjustments. That wouldn't be a true seeding. It just happened to fall that way. There was no rhyme or reason. It was just the luck of the draw if you will.”
Because of ACC scheduling, Clemson didn’t play UNC this season and the teams didn’t match up in the conference tournament, and Tanner said that played into Clemson’s seeding.
“That's a factor. We look at who you played, who you didn't play, what the opportunities were, would your conference record possibly have gone up, would it possibly have gone down. I can't speak to all the conferences, but I know the Southeastern Conference, you missed three on the other side,” Tanner said. “I understand it from that viewpoint, and you know, it's like North Carolina and Clemson didn't play. That was something we took a look at. Whether it would have gone one way or another, you know, you take a look at things. It does factor into it.
“You know, Florida State ended up finishing really strong. They were fourth place in their division, but they played the five best teams above them, and you know, they did really well and they were rewarded for that.”