It's no secret this year's bubble was incredibly soft. Actually, it's been said so much it's starting to get repetitive, even borderline annoying. But it's true. This year's bubble was incredibly soft. There, I said it again. Sorry.
It wasn't soft enough to give Coastal Carolina, the regular-season Big South conference champion, a chance to get in the NCAA tournament after the Chanticleers -- one of the best team nicknames ever, by the way -- lost to Winthrop in the Big South conference tournament championship last week. The loss meant that Coastal Carolina would be missing out on the NCAA tournament, heading to the NIT and, in the process, setting the sort of record no coach or player or fan wants anything to do with.
Yes, according to the beautiful people at ESPN Stats & Information, Coastal Carolina's 28 wins are the most of any eligible team not to make the NCAA tournament since the field was expanded to 64 in 1985. The accompanying list:
Most Wins To Not Make NCAA Tournament, Eligible Teams
Coastal Carolina, 2009-10, 28-6
Creighton, 2008-09, 26-7
Saint Mary's 2008-09, 26-6
Niagara, 2008-09, 26-8
Davidson, 2008-09, 26-7
College of Charleston, 2008-09, 26-8
Howard, 1986-87, 26-5
Stephen F. Austin, 2007-08, 26-5
Southern Illinois, 1989-90, 26-7
Akron, 2006-07, 26-7
IUPUI, 2007-08, 26-7
Robert Morris, 2007-08, 26-7
Of course, the comedy here -- though I'm betting these programs' fans won't be laughing -- is that the formerly record-setting 2008-09 Creighton and St. Mary's teams that narrowly (and perhaps unfairly) missed the tournament last year would have likely been locks for this year's weak bubble. St. Mary's is back in 2010; Creighton is not. Tough break, Bluejays.