The Independent Voice of Southern Methodist University Since 1915

The Daily Campus

The Daily Campus

The Independent Voice of Southern Methodist University Since 1915

The Daily Campus

The Independent Voice of Southern Methodist University Since 1915

The Daily Campus


A project, not a one-time deal

SMU Memphis Basketball
SMU guard Nic Moore (11) goes to the basket against Memphis defenders Nick King (5), Austin Nichols, center, and Joe Jackson (1) in the first half of an NCAA college basketball game Saturday, March 8, 2014, in Memphis, Tenn. (Courtesy of AP)

Two weeks ago, a spot in the NCAA Tournament field was a lock. SMU had just beaten UCF, and all was well with Mustang nation.

Then the Mustangs lost at home to Louisville. No worries; Louisville was beating everybody at this point in the season.

Then the Mustangs lost to Memphis on the road. A win would’ve been nice, but there’s no finding fault in losing to a team like Memphis on the road.

Then the Mustangs lost to Houston in their first game of the conference tournament. Okay, there’s no excuse for that, but almost everyone thought that the four wins over other AAC contenders would be enough to get SMU in.

However, when Selection Sunday came along, rumors began on Twitter that SMU’s non-conference strength of schedule (SOS) would come back to bite them. The fact that they had lost their final three games didn’t help.

It seemed with every hour more and more people were saying that they didn’t think SMU would make it in. The Mustangs and their fans just smiled and quietly waited until the NCAA Tournament Selection Show.

The first sign that SMU was in trouble during the show was Louisville — a team supposedly in contention for the final one seed — getting a fourth seed.

Sure enough, the committee snubbed SMU.

Yes, you can point to SMU’s non-conference SOS.

Yes, you can point to losing games when they matter the most.

Yes, you can point to the Mustangs beating terrible American Athletic Conference teams.

But you cannot say that they didn’t deserve to be in the tournament.

SMU has been irrelevant since 1993, the last time they made
the tournament.

Tired of remaining in the doldrums of college basketball, SMU decided to go big or go home. They hired Larry Brown.

In only his second season with the team, he brought them out of irrelevance and screaming into national attention.

Moody Coliseum underwent a renovation, and went from a place where students sometimes went to get out of the dorm, to a location that hosted must-see basketball for everyone in Dallas.

SMU went through one of the quickest turnarounds in college history. Moody Coliseum was even ranked as the most difficult place to play at one point.

The only thing missing was an NCAA Tournament appearance, and we were snubbed from that.

It’s disappointing to say the least, but it’s not a knockout punch.

SMU fans could easily have agreed with Brown when he said he felt that he let the fans down, but they didn’t. Instead of feeling entitled to a bid, they interrupted Brown’s speech and screamed “No!”

Maybe it’s because Mustang fans know that this isn’t a one-time deal. This is a project, and a project that has its valleys. Sometimes those valleys are devastatingly low, like missing out on a tournament bid.

SMU will head into the NIT with only winning in mind. They have something to prove to the committee: they made a mistake in underestimating the Mustangs and the AAC.

And next year, armed with a top-five recruit in Emmanuel Mudiay, the Mustangs will come out with a vengeance.

Snow is a sophomore majoring in journalism.

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