Saint Mary's coach Randy Bennett went into the weekend cautiously optimistic that the Gaels were headed back to the NCAA tournament.
"I feel good," Bennett said Friday, knocking on the wood of his desk for good measure. "You never know what can happen. I'm just hoping Joe Lunardi's money.
"I feel good about where we sit, our résumé, and what all the prognosticators are saying."
Unfortunately for Gaels, the experts weren't on the actual selection committee and late-season losses to San Diego, Utah State and Gonzaga twice ended up costing them an at-large bid. They opened up McKeon Pavilion for a watch party with their fans and ended up just staring in disbelief.
How perplexed was Bennett? He mentioned the BCS should be brought to college basketball so that mid-major teams wouldn't have to go through such torture, according to the San Francisco Chronicle.
After his second case of Rejection Sunday in three years, St. Mary's head coach Randy Bennett was so miffed he invoked college football's oft-ridiculed Bowl Championship Series standings as a way to improve the selection process for the NCAA Tournament.
"Go to BCS. Go to something where there's a standardized number how you figure out who's in, who's not," Bennett said about 10 minutes after learning his Gaels (25-8) were not one of the 37 teams to receive an at-large bid.
"Because I know the way we're doing it now is, some teams can get a 65, 69 RPI and they're from a big conference, the (selection committee) will find a way to make an excuse to get them in.
"Whereas from our conference, they're not going to flip-flop that. We're not going to get the same deal. To me, that's not right."
Forgive Bennett if he's just a little more than frustrated. The Gaels were snubbed in 2009 as well and have basically learned that every little thing counts, even constantly paying attention to where they stood in the RPI.
Sunday was a painful reminder of what can happen to mid-major teams that have the occasional slip-up -- even if the Gaels were the co-WCC champs and last season's Sweet 16 darlings. Senior Mickey McConnell, the WCC's player of the year, won't get one more chance to dance.
So Bennett spoke up about it and talked openly about how it could all be changed. The BCS in basketball? Sure, if it would mean he wouldn't have to sit through another one of these horror shows.