Texas A&M coach Buzz Williams kicked off his post-game press conference Tuesday night with a Statement lasting nearly eight minutes in which he decried the Aggies’ exclusion from the NCAA Championship as something that “defies logic”.
Williams’ comments came on the heels of his team’s 74-62 victory over Alcorn State in the inaugural NIT round, in which the team earned the top seed as one of the first four teams to be eliminated from the 68-team NCAA team. Championship bracket.
“We have been and are still in a very, very sad state,” Williams said. “Sadness is a wrong word, because it does not fully express the totality of our feelings.”
Coach Williams’ opening statement after tonight’s win over Alcorn State: pic.twitter.com/I4vKIBOr4Z
Texas A&M Basketball (aggiembk) March 16, 2022
Texas A&M (24-12) finished the season straight, storming the SEC tournament with a victory over Florida, and fourth-seeded Auburn and No. 15 in Arkansas to reach their first game in the Conference Championship, the Aggies coming in short against Tennessee, 65-50. With three wins in Tampa, Florida – part of a seven-game winning streak – Texas A&M was expected to play its way into the NCAA Championship.
In the aftermath of the SEC Championship, Williams said he spent hours thinking about the data and trying to understand “how those wins in just 12 SEC competition weren’t enough,” while knowing that the four SEC teams that won more than Aggies had 4 seeds or higher . His research, he said, also focused on the selection committee itself: its members, how are they appointed — “in other words, what committee chose the committee?” Their career paths, the frequency of their meetings, and the topics of discussion.
“I wanted to make sure I studied everything with the lens they did, so that I could understand how what we did this season wasn’t enough. I wanted that understanding so I could get an explanation for our players, their parents and coaches, and be responsible in my relationship with each of them.” Williams explained.
“After studying all of this nonstop the past two days and looking at it from everywhere, it defies logic that we’re not in the NCAA Championship,” he continued.
Williams said that despite his “repeated pleas”, he received no specific statements – only generalities – by those above them, causing him to “lose all respect and faith in the system and those in it”.
“What happened is wrong,” Williams said.
Williams became emotional at times while reading his statement, particularly when referring to players who decided to stay at Texas A&M with their additional year of eligibility granted due to the pandemic.
“The process is clearly flawed, and there is clearly a lot more unseen and unknown in the selection of the Big 36 teams than is being made public,” Williams said in the conclusion of his statement. Until there is complete transparency and accountability, the system will remain broken and this will continue to happen. ”
Williams also brought with him a summary of his research, copies of which he provided to reporters.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.
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