MORGANTOWN, W.Va. — After waiting more than a week to learn its NCAA tournament fate, the West Virginia women’s basketball team received the bad news two hours ahead of schedule.
In a massive blunder, ESPN accidentally revealed the majority of the tournament bracket Monday afternoon. It was quickly taken down, but not before being pieced together on social media. Due to the extraordinary circumstance, ESPN and the NCAA pushed up the selection show two hours ahead of when it was originally scheduled.
Despite their 20-10 record and 11-7 mark in the Big 12, the Mountaineers were not in the 64-team field. The Big 12 was the third-rated conference in the country based on the Ratings Percentage Index, yet only four teams made it into the NCAA tourney. TCU was also left on the wrong side of the bubble.
West Virginia finished 80th in the RPI, ultimately killing its at-large hopes.
Mountaineers coach Mike Carey voiced his displeasure on social media.
This is a joke….
— Mike Carey (@CoachMikeCarey) March 18, 2019
“This is a joke…” Carey tweeted.
The description not only fit his team’s snub and the committee’s lack of respect for the Big 12, but could also describe the egg on the face of the NCAA and ESPN after the bungling of one of the biggest nights of exposure for women’s basketball in the calendar year.
West Virginia’s season will instead continue in the WNIT. The Mountaineers will host Rider on Thursday night at WVU Coliseum. The tip time was not immediately announced.