Bruiser Flint on Drexel Being Snubbed from March Madness: “I know we got a good enough team to be in that tournament and win some games.”March 13, 2012 – 6:30 am by Steven Cuce
There’s no sugar coating the fact that Drexel had one of the strongest cases for an at-large tournament bid amongst those teams who did not make the 2012 NCAA Men’s Basketball Tournament. Instead, the Dragons are on the outside looking in, and many people in Philadelphia — and throughout the game — are either upset or perplexed about it. The Dragons went 27-6 overall, with a 16-2 record in the Colonial Athletic Association. Traditionally this would be considered a very weak conference, but with programs like George Mason and VCU elevating the profile and competitive landscape of the conference in recent years, it’s easy to see why some are shocked by Drexel being snubbed given how consistent they were all season.
Bruiser Flint is disappointed with the NCAA Selection Committee, but knows there is nothing he can do about it. He must now prepare his team for the first round of the NIT as the Dragons take on UCF on March 14th.
Bruiser Flint joined WFAN in New York with Mike Francesa to discuss his disappointment with not making the NCAA tournament, scheduling a better non-conference schedule to prove to the NCAA Selection Committee they are worthy of the NCAA tournament, the Colonial Athletic Association being a stronger conference recently in the NCAA tournament, whether he’d rather just make the NCAA tournament and lose early or go all the way and win in the NIT.
How upset are you?
“Well like you said sometimes you have to pass the criteria for what they [NCAA Selection Committee] have and I thought we had a great year. I know we got a good enough team to be in that tournament and win some games, but we just didn’t pass the criteria.”
Does this send a message to you to schedule better in the non-conference and how hard of a chore is that?
“Well, actually our schedule just fell the way it did this year. We usually don’t have that problem. We actually usually play a couple of guaranteed games, but we just didn’t…the problem we had this year was late we didn’t have any home games. So really the only home games we had were my conference games, so we just tried to get some home games and two of the teams we picked up late actually teams that people predicted could be possible NCAA tournament types that didn’t have those types of seasons. Our non-conference schedule just sort of fell the way it did. We usually don’t have a problem with our strength of schedule. We had one of the strongest schedules in our conference actually, but it didn’t work out that way this year and we paid the price for it.”
Your conference has been wonderful in the NCAA recently too?
“I thought that was going to help us out, but they always say they don’t take that into consideration and they were absolutely true about that. It was tough because I know my team was good enough. We actually went through the same thing in 2007, in which we actually had the schedule, but they told us we didn’t win enough games in our conference. It’s been a tough go for the two times that we had an opportunity to get the at-large bids, but this time I actually told our team I know we are good enough. We know we are going to be playing in the NIT and last week I sort of told guys: ‘Look no matter what tournament we are going to be in, we hope we are going to be in the NCAA, but let’s just concentrate on that. When we get there we can win games in it cause we are good enough to win games.’ “
I had people picking your team to go to the Elite 8 and you didn’t even make the tournament:
“[Laughs] Well you know that’s the way it goes. Maybe next year.”
How tough to take is this when many analysts thought your team was loaded?
“Well it was tough, but like I said we know we had a good team. Now we just got to make our mark on the NIT.”
Would you rather go to the NCAA tournament and lose a tough close game or would you rather go win the NIT?
“I think people have said they would rather go to the NCAA tournament. That’s the ultimate tournament and that’s where you want to be. Definitely. That’s where you want to be.”