New Jersey Governor Phil Murphy was just as upset as any other Rutgers fan on Monday as the Scarlet Knights were disqualified from the 68ers in the NCAA Men’s Basketball Tournament.
Despite being ranked No. 35 in college basketball analyst Ken Baum’s rankings, earning a NET 40 rating and scoring wins over Purdue, Northwestern, and Penn State, Rutgers was out for the tournament even as teams with ratings lower than the NET made it to the Big Dance .
Murphy tweeted his displeasure with the NCAA selection committee.
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“#35 in the Kienbaum rankings. Beat #1 ranked Purdue on the road and almost beat them again two days ago. Won against a number of strong teams during the season,” Murphy tweeted.
“Rutgers should have been in the championship. Period. Full stop.”
Murphy’s radical interest remains as he makes Princeton and Fairleigh Dickinson the men’s field. Princeton and Monmouth made the field on the women’s side. However, Fairleigh Dickinson and Monmouth are in a match-up to reach the first round.
Rutgers has managed to take down top talent this season. They defeated tournament No. 1 seed and Big Ten tournament winners Purdue, 65-64 again on January 2. However, they have struggled to maintain consistency against the others, including losing seven of their last 10 matches.
North Carolina Makes Dubious History After failing to make the NCAA Tournament, it will skip the NIT
Rutgers wasn’t the only team denied the championship. Oklahoma was another state that some thought would make it, but fell short in the eyes of the commission. However, UNC has made some bad history after losing the most games at any of the #1 seeds in the AP preseason, and they’ve also just missed the tournament.
Still, Rutgers will say yes to a nod to play in the National Invitation Tournament, says head coach Steve Bickel.
“Yeah, absolutely,” Beckel said via NJ.com. “We’re going to try to keep playing. I want Caleb (McConnell) and Paul (Mulcahy) to play as many games as possible. I don’t want this season to end. This group has been really great and has done a lot of great things for us.
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“…Getting the chance to play a home game here for those guys is probably very important and I think the right way (to finish the season). I don’t apologize for playing the post-season here at Rutgers. Obviously our goal at the start of the year is the NCAA tournament, But we have to shift quickly here.”
Fox News’ Scott Thompson contributed to this report.
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