Snubs and surprises from Selection Sunday 2018

Syracuse turned out to be the committee’s last team in the field Sunday. (Gerry Broome/Associated Press)

The NCAA tournament selection committee attempted to dig deeper into the numbers in selecting the 68-team field. It abandoned using the top 50 of the Rating Percentage Index as its arbitrary cutoff line for quality victories and replaced it with a quadrant system.

But the message given by its selections on Sunday night was just as clear as in years past: High-end victories matter more than anything else.

It’s why Florida State easily made it into the field, and why other teams with poor nonconference schedules got slotted in 8-vs.-9 games. And it’s why Saint Mary’s, with its 28-5 record and one of the 10 or 15 best players in the country, is heading to the National Invitation Tournament.

Toss in Syracuse’s boost from both a few notable road victories and a strong nonconference schedule, and the committee further solidified the direction it has headed in for the three previous seasons. Hint: It’s one that helps high-major programs with lots of chances to make an impression.

SURPRISE: Florida State sails in. The Seminoles (20-11) looked increasingly dicey on paper as the week wore on. They lost to Louisville in their only ACC tournament game, and their nonconference

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