Texas A&M coach Buzz Williams began his postgame news conference Tuesday night with a statement lasting nearly eight minutes in which he decried the Aggies' exclusion from the NCAA tournament as something that "defies logic."
Williams' comments came on the heels of his team's 74-62 win over Alcorn State in the opening round of the NIT, for which the Aggies earned a No. 1 seed as one of the first four teams left out of the 68-team NCAA tournament bracket.
"We were and are completely devastated and heartbroken," Williams said. "Sad is the wrong word, because it doesn't completely express the totality of our emotions."
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 on a roll, storming through the SEC tournament with wins over Florida, fourth-ranked Auburn and No. 15 Arkansas to reach its first conference championship game, where the Aggies came up short against Tennessee 65-50. With three wins in Tampa, Florida -- part of a seven-game winning streak -- it was anticipated that Texas A&M had played its way into the NCAA tournament.
In the wake of the SEC tournament, Williams said he spent hours poring over data and trying to understand "how those 12 SEC competition-only wins weren't enough," while knowing that the four teams in the SEC that won more than the Aggies were awarded a 4-seed or higher. He said his research also focused on the selection committee itself: its members, how they are appointed -- "in other words, what committee selected the committee?" -- their career paths, meeting frequency and topics of discussion.
"I wanted to make sure that I studied it all with the lens they do, so that I could better understand how what we did this season wasn't enough. I wanted this understanding so I could have an explanation for our players, their parents and coaches, and be accountable in my relationship with each of them," Williams explained.
"After studying all this nonstop the last two days and looking at it from every vantage point," he continued, "it defies logic that we are not in the NCAA tournament."
Williams said that despite "repeated pleas," he has been given no specific data -- only generalities -- by those above him, causing him to "lose all respect and faith in the system and those that are in it."
"What has transpired is wrong," Williams stated.
Williams became emotional at times while reading his statement, particularly when referencing the players who decided to stay at Texas A&M with their extra year of eligibility that was granted due to the pandemic.
"The process is obviously flawed, and it is apparent that there is way more included that is unseen and unknown in the selection of the 36 at-large teams than what the public is made aware of,'' Williams said in concluding his statement. "Until there is complete transparency and accountability, the system will stay broken and this will continue to happen.''
Williams also brought with him a summary of his research, copies of which he offered to reporters.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.