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Controversy erupted when Virginia made the NCAA Tournament’s First Four as a No. 10 seed, and they were slaughtered by Colorado State, 67-42.

The Cavaliers scored just 14 points in the first half, shooting just 25% from the floor and 17.6% from three. They didn’t fare well at the free-throw line, either, going 11-for-17 (64.7%).

They picked the worst time to have perhaps their worst game of the season, but one analyst saw the writing on the wall.


Virginia players on bench

Ryan Dunn (13) and Jordan Minor (22) of the Virginia Cavaliers react during the second half against the Colorado State Rams in a First Four game during the NCAA Tournament at University of Dayton Arena March 19, 2024, in Dayton, Ohio.  (Michael Hickey/Getty Images)

Wally Szczerbiak, a college basketball analyst for CBS, whose networks broadcast the tournament, said the selection committee “made a mistake putting Virginia in the NCAA tournament.”

“Every bracketologist was saying it. They go out and play like this. It’s unwatchable basketball the way they played today on national TV,” Szczerbiak said after the Virginia loss.

KenPom rankings have become the main source of how to predict tournament success over the years, and with Virginia ranking 73rd in the nation (Colorado State ranks 30th), it’s easy to understand Szczerbiak’s point, especially when three teams who were arguably robbed rank ahead of Virginia in those rankings.

Ryan Dunn upset

Ryan Dunn (13) of the Virginia Cavaliers reacts after being defeated by the Colorado State Rams 67-42 in a First Four game during the NCAA Tournament at University of Dayton Arena March 19, 2024, in Dayton, Ohio.  (Dylan Buell/Getty Images)

St. John’s is sitting there like, ‘We’ve won six out of seven, we’re scoring 90 points a game, playing great basketball down the stretch in the Big East.’ Seton Hall beat Marquette and UConn. They’re sitting at home or in the NIT. They should be in this NCAA tournament. Pitt should be in this NCAA tournament. The committee made a big mistake by putting this team in the NCAA tournament this year. 

“(Tony Bennett’s) team did not belong on this floor with Colorado State.”

St. John’s ranked 26th in KenPom this season. The top-25 teams in the rankings made the tournament. Pitt ranked 41st, while Seton Hall was 63rd. St. John’s made the Big East semifinal after beating Seton Hall in the quarterfinals and lost to UConn, 95-90. Pitt fell to UNC in the ACC tournament, which N.C. State won as a No. 10 seed, doing no favors for Pitt.

Colorado State celebrating

Joe Palmer (20) of the Colorado State Rams celebrates with teammates during the second half against the Virginia Cavaliers in a First Four game during the NCAA Tournament at University of Dayton Arena March 19, 2024, in Dayton, Ohio.  (Dylan Buell/Getty Images)


Colorado State will now face No. 7 Texas Thursday.

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