Hamilton takes issue with NCAA selection committee

When Mike Hamilton sits down to watch the opening rounds of the NCAA men’s basketball tournament this week, he can’t help but feel a bit slighted.

Tennessee’s athletic director watched the Vols receive a ninth seed despite ranked No. 25 in RPI and No. 2 in strength of schedule.

Hamilton, however, doesn’t just feel slighted due to his allegiance. As a member of the SEC, he’s not too happy about how the NCAA tournament selection committee treated the conference.

“I’m disappointed,” Hamilton said. “I’m disappointed for our kids. I’m disappointed for the kids at LSU, disappointed for the kids at Mississippi State and Auburn and Florida and South Carolina and some other teams that could have possibly made it.

“While it’s true that we may not have as strong a league as we have typically had, I think we’re certainly a better league than three spots in the NCAA tournament.”

And only two at-large bids. Had Mississippi State not defeated UT in the SEC tournament to earn an automatic bid, the SEC would have had two teams in the NCAA tournament. LSU is an eighth seed. And Mississippi State sits at 13. The “football conference” hasn’t had less than five teams since 1996.

The decisions by the selection committee were surprising — but not shocking if one considers just how badly the SEC has been battered publicly this season. The SEC and its sub-standard play was a constant topic among national basketball media.

“During the year people talked a lot about our league being down so it sort of became a self-fulfilling prophecy at the end,” Hamilton said.

Constant negative publicity carries some of the blame. But so does the SEC, and the schools that refuse to schedule tougher, non-conference opponents.

“As it relates to RPI’s and so forth, (UT coach) Bruce (Pearl) has done a great job playing quality outside competition,” Hamilton said. “Kentucky has typically done that. Other teams do that sporadically.

“If we’re going to continue to build our national reputation, other schools in the league are going to have to ratchet up some of their non-conference scheduling. That then gives us more television exposure and it builds the RPI of individual schools, which then builds the RPI of our league.”

Under Pearl, the Vols will play Southern California, Kansas and Memphis next season.

“I think that those are games that national television wants to see and that the public wants to see,” Hamilton said. “We’re not afraid to go on the road to start those series because we know we’re going to get the return game.”

To Hamilton, playing a soft schedule to pad a win total is an antiquated attempt to get into the tournament.

“There was this old saying that 20 wins is the magical number,” Hamilton said. “Well, 20 wins is not necessarily the magic number now. Look at the NIT, there’s several 20-win programs that are perceived as pretty good programs but they didn’t make the NCAA tournament.”

National exposure will increase next season under the SEC’s new television deal with ESPN.

“It’s going to be hard to prove that (critics of the SEC were wrong) because we’ve got an eight seed, a nine seed and a 13 seed,” Hamilton said. “We got put in tough positions. But we’re athletic, we have good coaches and I think that we have a better league than three bids.”

Some have blamed SEC commissioner Mike Slive for not doing more to have his conference better represented in the NCAA tournament. Slive, however, isn’t allowed to be present when his schools’ interests are being discussed among committee members.

SEC fans want deals to be made. That may be tougher said than done.

“I’m sure he advocated for our league in someway shape or form with the others on the committee before the committees began their final meetings,” Hamilton said. “Everybody is trying to position their programs even though they can’t be in the room when the committee is talking about their programs. “Wheeling and dealing, I don’t know.”

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Comments » 74

vols45 writes:

KNS spelling???? Or, is that English 101 or Journalism 101. Whichever, it is allegiance..............not allegince.....according to Mr. Webster. Sad that got by the news desk. Willis Tucker and Kelly Leiter would pass their spleens if they were here to see this in print.

NoMoreWooAfterGoodOleRockyTop writes:

Why all the long faces? We got blown the F out twice by UK who didn't even make the tourney, lost to Bama on Senior Day, and played the worst game of the season vs. Miss St. to lose the SECC in front of a national TV audience. #9 seems about right to me. Don't like it? Don't lose to inferior teams. With that being said, still wouldn't trade BP for any other coach in America.

WeLoveTennesseeVols writes:

Good for you, nothing like a strong educated stand on the issues!

RJ_Vol writes:

For many, many reasons that I have stated in other posts, Slive's tenure as SEC Commissioner has run its ugly course. It's time for him to be fired by the powers that be. From failing to make FB players eligible in due time, to having a media circus at football media days, to woefully poor PR for the basketball league this year...this guy has been utterly atrocious for the SEC. For a guy that I struggle to respect, Hamilton was courageous to make those remarks. Props to him for that. Now, the universities need to build a consensus and send Slive packing.

RJ_Vol writes:

What is Slive's exact connection to UF?

smitbo7 writes:

Please stop the whining. Your student-athletes reflect what comes from the top.

orangeinbama writes:

in response to NoMoreWooAfterGoodOleRockyTop:

Why all the long faces? We got blown the F out twice by UK who didn't even make the tourney, lost to Bama on Senior Day, and played the worst game of the season vs. Miss St. to lose the SECC in front of a national TV audience. #9 seems about right to me. Don't like it? Don't lose to inferior teams. With that being said, still wouldn't trade BP for any other coach in America.

My opinion exactly. Beat Gonzaga one of those games, take Mempus at home and it could almost guarantee a 3- to 5 seed. (IMO) If two of those 3 losses were wins the damage done by those losses you mentioned wouldnt have carried the severity that they did in terms of seeding.

RJ_Vol writes:

in response to NoMoreWooAfterGoodOleRockyTop:

Why all the long faces? We got blown the F out twice by UK who didn't even make the tourney, lost to Bama on Senior Day, and played the worst game of the season vs. Miss St. to lose the SECC in front of a national TV audience. #9 seems about right to me. Don't like it? Don't lose to inferior teams. With that being said, still wouldn't trade BP for any other coach in America.

I don't have a problem w/ UT's seed...maybe should have been a 6 or 7 but that's splitting hairs. I'm just glad we made the tourney, because there was a time when I thought we wouldn't. LSU's seed is my gripe. They should have been at least a 3 seed due to being regular season SEC Champs. As it is, they begin w/ Butler and then have to play a potential 1 seed in the next game. Not a lot of respect there for a foundational conference of the NCAA. This really has all the markings of the Northeast media bias.

RJ_Vol writes:

OK. Thinking back, I do have a problem w/ UT's seed - even though I said I didn't. We did what the committee has always asked...play a tough schedule and do well in your conference. Our RPI was good. However, I can see the losses to UK being factored in, but UT won five of seven to close out the season...and made it to the conference finals. I think this year's brackets are as bad (from a fairness perspective) as any year I can remember. No conference should ever, ever have three 1 seeds.

golfballs03 writes:

Conference play is really important because those games are fresh in their minds - and it's not particularly impressive for Tennessee. That win against Georgetown means nothing now, and I think people forget about our win against Marquette. The selection committee doesn't really care what you did early in the season. It is a flat out lie when they talk about "body of work".

It is all about money. They seed the teams and create the match-ups that will generate the most attention and money.

checkerboards writes:

I think that the media played a big part in it. But with that said I agree with some of the earlier posts. We needed to beat Gonzaga one of the two times that we played them. Also look at the Kansas and Memphis games. We did not play our best ball in front of a national TV audience and then struggled our way to take a share of the SEC East. I also think that other SEC teams need to grow a pair (minus UK) and play good teams non-conference. I am still very disappointed with our performance against Miss State. I think the OK St. game will be tough given their strength is at PG and that is a position we have been lacking in all year. With that said I am hopeful that Brice will get the guys ready to show up and play with intensity for the full 40 minutes.

VolJunkie writes:

Right or wrong, you stand-up for your family. Hamilton has taken a position that Slive should have taken long before now. I totally agree with a comment RJ made earlier, a lot of this is marketing your conference, something that Slive has done a piss poor job of this year. They say the sign of a good salesman is telling you to go to hell in such a way that you actually look forward to the trip.

I am not trying to diminish the team's role in this, but I am glad to see Mike stand up for his school ... well done sir.

Go Vols!

checkerboards writes:

I meant Bruce of course, wow with my spelling talent, maybe I could get a job writing for KNS

golfballs03 writes:

there is a HUGE difference between a 6 seed and a 9 seed. I personally think Tennessee should have been a 7. I mean look at some of the teams seeded higher than them... Boston College, Ohio State, OK State, BYU.. No way they deserve higher than us

ALock4UT writes:

in response to vols45:

KNS spelling???? Or, is that English 101 or Journalism 101. Whichever, it is allegiance..............not allegince.....according to Mr. Webster. Sad that got by the news desk. Willis Tucker and Kelly Leiter would pass their spleens if they were here to see this in print.

How about a little grace...who really cares? I think it was close enough to get the point across. People mess up, it happens

GoVol writes:

We should have won more games. The team was inconsistent and I blame that on coaching. As much as I like BP, it is his job to get the most out of each player EVERY game, not just some. Prince was having a horrible game in the conf. champ. game and Pearl should have pulled him. Prince cost us the game...not just at the end, but throughout the game.

When you never know which UT team is going to take the court, you have to look at coaching! I think BP is the best thing that has happened to TN BB in a long, long time, but he needs to continue to improve.

Go Vols....

dirtywhiteboy writes:

gonna have to play the number one seed sooner or later anyways. this team has been very inconsistent all year and most all of their quality wins happened way back at the start of the season. can't really argue with the 9 seed. after losing sunday it wouldn't have surprised me if they left us out totally. this team has the capability of beating osu and pittsburgh AND also has the capability of being blown out by either team.

AlpharettaVol writes:

in response to vols45:

KNS spelling???? Or, is that English 101 or Journalism 101. Whichever, it is allegiance..............not allegince.....according to Mr. Webster. Sad that got by the news desk. Willis Tucker and Kelly Leiter would pass their spleens if they were here to see this in print.

I was a student under Willis Tucker and greatly admired the man. One student who kept in touch with him after his retirement told me that letters she would send to him would come back to her with all the grammar corrected. Old habits die hard.

murrayvol writes:

in response to VolunteerFear:

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

I think he cares VolFear. But I don't think he carries the "I may be out of the room but you know what I want" clout of previous commissioners.

TommyJack writes:

in response to ALock4UT:

How about a little grace...who really cares? I think it was close enough to get the point across. People mess up, it happens

"Close enough"? Good Gawd, man. They're supposed to be journalists.

CoverOrange writes:

I would have preferred Mike H. to keep this under his hat until after the tourney. Just more bulletin board material for Oklahoma State at this point.

The SEC has sucked for years outside one or two really good teams (Tennessee, Tennessee-Florida, Florida-LSU, LSU-Kentucky, etc.). Been some time since "good" extended down more than fourth or fifth place.

This is a wake up call. The tourney rewarded UT in Pearl's first year for a tough schedule and is now sending notice to the SEC for weak schedules. Unfortunately, the are unwittingly sending notice to mid-majors that they are done since scheduling them does not build RPI for BCS teams.

murrayvol writes:

in response to RJ_Vol:

For many, many reasons that I have stated in other posts, Slive's tenure as SEC Commissioner has run its ugly course. It's time for him to be fired by the powers that be. From failing to make FB players eligible in due time, to having a media circus at football media days, to woefully poor PR for the basketball league this year...this guy has been utterly atrocious for the SEC. For a guy that I struggle to respect, Hamilton was courageous to make those remarks. Props to him for that. Now, the universities need to build a consensus and send Slive packing.

Why do you struggle to respect Hamilton RJ?

While I may have had misgivings at his hiring, his handling of the Athletic Dept., decision making, facility development, Pearl hire, Kiffin hire and business model for football program, and Neyland renovation have trumped all my concerns in spades.

lomas98 writes:

Should have won that game over Memphis. That was the last opportunity to get a quality out of conference win. In the minds of the committe, TN was in the worst power conference and could not win either the regular season or the conference tournament. Based on the seed, we probably end up a 7 if we beat Miss. St. in the finals.

GerryOP writes:

in response to gatorz2:

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

If you want to be entertained for a while, follow lil' z2gatorby's link below he provided the other day!

http://www.wowwiki.com/Commanding_Pre...

He claims that he and his family were all uniformed military and saviors of the world. Right? Check out the link! If you look down in the lower right hand corner, it is quite revealing. You see something called properties -- It looks like this is where lil' z2gatorboy and his world saving family practice Battle Shouts and Commanding Shouts! Look down a little further under Requirements and you will see Talent Required: None.

Still curious? Go back to the web root for this site:

http://www.wowwiki.com/Portal:Main

and you will see the "wars" lil' z2gatorboy and his noble family fight!

Still more curious? Go on up the web chain to:

http://www.wikia.com/wiki/Wikia:About

Just read the first few sentences!

"Wikia is a community destination supporting the creation and development of wiki communities on any topic people are passionate about. We currently support over 6000 communities in more than 70 languages. Part of the free culture movement, Wikia content is released under a free content license and operates on the Open Source MediaWiki software. Explore our existing communities or start a new one."

I guess that wowwiki is one of the 6000 make-believe communities in the world of wiki! Sounds like a "2nd star to the right" kind of world!

This is lil' z2gatorboy's world!

Don't forget, he claims a degree from UF and degrees, yes plural, from USCar. Degrees must come pretty easy in lil' z2gatorboy's little make-believe Wikia communities -- all 6000 thousand of them!

Also don't forget, this is the troll that claimed one night that it was not appropriate to slander his family since he had a sister dying of cancer. A couple of nights later she was home, the meds were working, and she was up and about in her walker! Haven't asked/heard lately, but I presume she is back fulltime alongside her decorated uniformed family defending the world on wowwiki.com. Either that or she is back fulltime practicing with the UF women's track team. I understand she specializes in javelin catching!

Sheesh, what a jerk, poser, and fake!

murrayvol writes:

I think a case can be made for seeds 6-9 for the Vols. I'd like someone to make the case for seven Big 10 teams....other than TV ratings.

murrayvol writes:

KNS Alert: in the second to last paragraph I think that should read "That may be easier said than done." You're welcome.

GerryOP writes:

in response to gatorz2:

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

So...which of the 6000 make-believe wiki-worlds are you living in today?

VOLinGA writes:

Well the thing is, we're in...should be thankful for that with the inconsistent play of this season. Now, we have a ticket to the dance, if we're the team we "think" we are, then go take care of Ok St. and give Pitt a run for their money. Quit talking and start backing it up.

THE_VOL writes:

STFU HAMS!!! TN got exactly what they deserved and what they EARNED! A decent RPI doesn't mean anything IF YOU DON'T WIN THE GAMES!!! Who did this team BEAT???? Marquette = QUALITY WIN. Georgetown = SO WHAT??? SIENNA = NOT IMPRESSED. WHO ELSE DID THEY BEAT FROM A DECENT LEAGUE THAT IS IN THE TOURNEY???? NOBODY!!! LOSSES = ZAGA TWICE, KANSAS, MEMPHIS, TEMPLE! 2-5 against your top non-con's is hardly much to brag about! YES give some credit for playing them which the committee did by putting them in at all. Remember they TIED with SC in the East and SC had a better overall record so obviously TN got credit for it's schedule since they didn't beat too many. IN SEC PLAY 1-2 against the teams that got in! Beat FL twice = SO WHAT??? lost to KY twice to offset that! Beat SC twice = SO WHAT??? lost to Ole Miss and Auburn to offset those. Bottom line is HAMS AND PEARL should stop whinin'!!! YOU ARE WHAT YOU'RE RECORD (AND SEEDING) SAYS YOU ARE!!!! Think the committee is wrong???? THEN GO MAKE THE ELITE EIGHT!!!! PROVE IT TO THE WORLD!!!! But til you do - STFU cause it makes you sound like wannabe's!!!!

Vols1998 writes:

It is my opinion that the other leagues feel that the SEC is getting too much exposure in Football, and it isn't fair that they win the basketball NC too. I can see the Big East, PAC-10, Independents, and all the other acronyms stomping their feet and holding their breath until they get their way.

"It's not fair, it's not fair! I'll take my ball home if you do not choose more of my friends! the SEC always get their way!!".....unknown AD from a "non-football conference"

Timed_vol (Inactive) writes:

In my view, it's time to expand. Look at last night's Davidson/USC game....that was pretty much an NCAA-quality game.

My suggestion: the final 16 spots open to 'play-in' games. This would then load an additional 16 teams into the picture.

Take the bottom 4 seeds in each region (12-16), and have 32 teams play for those seeded spots.

volroadwarrior writes:

I believe there is a strong Big East and ACC bias in the media and selection committee. The best seed being 9 and only 3 teams in is absolutely ridiculous.

justincredible369#357762 writes:

In other words the rest of the SEC need to quite dragging there rears. Its obvious that with some stiffer competition no doubt at the very least five teams yearly in the tourney. So the rest of you fluffs need to start representing the SEC. Lets gettem good in March. Play like champs not like chumps. GO VOLS

Madkels writes:

in response to gatorz2:

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

Blah, Blah, Blah......

When I see your post, I hear the teacher from Charlie Brown.

tennrich1 writes:

in response to TCHDWN10C:

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

If you keep up with things, Coach Pearl has said our seeding is probably close to right...unfortunately!!

GerryOP writes:

in response to Orange_A_Holic:

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

Yah Orange, I know, but sometimes I cannot help myself! This has been going on for a couple of months. Guess I would rather attack instead of sitting back and watching his inane diddling with everybody.

171 -- Fear The Kiffin...

Madkels writes:

You would think that #2 strength of schedule and a RPI of 25 we would be seeded higher. But with the inconsistent play of this team, who really knows where we should be. If we beat Oki State and give Pitt a run, then we prove the committee wrong. If Oki Sate wins, proves the committee right. Anyway, this team needs to play their hardest and prepare for next year. I don't think anyone really expects this team to go deep into the tourney. With that being said, I feel Bruce will continue to improve the program and bring many wins to UT!

Madkels writes:

in response to Orange_A_Holic:

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

Now that's funny right there...I don't care who you are!!!

BamaVol80 writes:

I agree with most folks in that we had opportunities to play our way into a higher seed. However, I really think it stinks that both LSU and Tennessee got stuck in the 8-9 game, meaning IF we win we have to play #1 in the second round. It is going to be tough for either team to prove the committee wrong. I hope that CBP can use this "us against the world" mentality to get the guys ready to play. This team can play with anybody when they are ready to go. This team can also lose to just about anybody, which is why they are seeded 9th.

However, I still believe that all those tough games against Gonzaga, Kansas, and yes even The University of Western Tennessee will pay dividends in the tournament.

GO VOLS!!!

mocsandvolsfan writes:

in response to Timed_vol:

In my view, it's time to expand. Look at last night's Davidson/USC game....that was pretty much an NCAA-quality game.

My suggestion: the final 16 spots open to 'play-in' games. This would then load an additional 16 teams into the picture.

Take the bottom 4 seeds in each region (12-16), and have 32 teams play for those seeded spots.

Excellent!!!

mocsandvolsfan writes:

in response to volroadwarrior:

I believe there is a strong Big East and ACC bias in the media and selection committee. The best seed being 9 and only 3 teams in is absolutely ridiculous.

I hate Big East. I hate ACC.
I hate...Well I guess that's it.

Rick4UT writes:

in response to gatorz2:

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

Please try to stay on your medication. We are talking basketball. Tennessee and the SEC got cheated. All 3 teams should have been seeded at least one higher and at least 1 more team should have been invited. (Maybe the gators )

abnerPeabody writes:

Respect is earned.The SEC and the Vols failed this year.Strength of schedule means nothing unless you do something with it.Tennessee didn't.

Volalumnus writes:

Just remember that if...if there ever comes a playoff in college football, I don't think we want a selection committee to do the seeding.
Just remember that even in football, that the so called pundits who usually share a lot of thoughts and have common strings with the powers that be, would have - and do pick a Big 10 or Big 12 school each time they had a chance to be in the NC game and spite the showing of those schools, keep doing it, even when they have had terrible games to finish the season.

bookemdano writes:

in response to NoMoreWooAfterGoodOleRockyTop:

Why all the long faces? We got blown the F out twice by UK who didn't even make the tourney, lost to Bama on Senior Day, and played the worst game of the season vs. Miss St. to lose the SECC in front of a national TV audience. #9 seems about right to me. Don't like it? Don't lose to inferior teams. With that being said, still wouldn't trade BP for any other coach in America.

You said it before I could register...The VOLS are fortunate to have/had the coaches, for my lifetime and most of you reading this, that are great leaders of our volunteer teams regardless of gender or activity. Think about that!!! We should be proud and stand tall as we bleed orange. Remember these are 18-22 year old young adults. Young men and women play the game that teaches more than the game itself hopefully, not coaches.

ballewville6 writes:

it was said in an erlier post we lost several games that should have been wins but our horrifc free throw shooting and not playing hard all the time came back and bit us wa shouldnt have loss to auburn,alabama,lsu,memphis,gonzaga once,miss state we should be 27 and 6 with a 2 or 3 seed but we have a 9 seed which in ncaa tourny you have to beat some good teams to get far in tourny ,if we can beat osu and pitt we should be final 4 or 8 bound maby futher so lets hope that the team that beat marquett and georgetown,at flordia,at south carolina and the first two sec tourny games ,and hope the team that lost to auburn and alabama on last second shots and 3 bad losses against ole miss and 2 to kentucky

volball7222 writes:

Both mens and womens teams at ETSU and UT will meet each other in the second if they win. What are the odds? Why would the commitees do that? UT was a 6 seed if you look at the RPI's. Three Big East make #1 seeds even though only one of them made the championship game. Pitt lost in the first round and still made a 1 seed? Are you serious? I think ETSU has a team that will frustrate Pitt with their quickness and athleticism. Teams like that can make what should be a blowout a very close game. ETSU beat a heavy favorite in Arizona several years ago. It should be a good game. The UT--Okie State game should be a very good game...back and forth. It will go down to the last minute.
Go Vols!

straightshooter writes:

Hamilton should stay quite. He sounds like an overly protective mom. A big whinner. Facts are facts. UT never won any BIG games period this season or tourney wise. They had a chance to redeem themselves somewhat in the SEC tourney but just couldn't handle winning 3 in a row, too much success. During the regular season, coughed up what closed games they were in that were against good non-conference competition other than the early 2, GT and Marquette, let Kentucky (a team in the NIT), wipe the floor with them twice. So where did Hamilton expect them to go with a 21-12 record? After viewing the mediocre SEC championship game, it only confirmed the opinions of low caliber SEC ball this year, sealing the deal for only 3 teams to get in.

blitzshoot writes:

SEC Commissioner one day????

Volumnus writes:

Temple, Gonzaga, Memphis...oh yea, don't forget Ala and MS State.... Sort of sums it up.

Oh and I am sure the Selection committee is worried about what MH is saying.....NOT!!!!

And after all the verbage, we still have to show up and play Okie State.... so why bother, what purpose is served?

If the team wants to make this go away they only have to win 5 games in a row! Then they shut everybody up.

Go Vols!

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