Tony Seaman compiled a record of 263-166 in 30 years as a head coach at Johns Hopkins, Towson, Penn and
It took a while. It's not a year where we walked in and said, 'This is the No. 1. There's no doubt about it. There's no argument.' So we looked at two or three teams that we thought had remote possibilities for No. 1, and when we went through all of our criteria, Loyola stood out as being No. 1. Their RPI was No. 1, and we felt that they had only one loss and that was to the No. 2 team in the country [Johns Hopkins] by a goal in overtime. Everything else was in pretty good shape. So we awarded that to them.
Massachusetts fans are probably not happy about the only unbeaten team in the country falling to a No. 6 seed. What led to that decision?
They haven't played anybody. They didn't have a win in the top 20. They didn't play a team in the field. How can we possibly give them a top-four ranking? They had a [No.] 31 strength of schedule and they had a [No.] 31 strength of nonconference schedule. They just didn't play anybody. … A lot of people can go undefeated if you don't play anybody. We made a statement back in 2009, and we've made a statement in 2012 that you've got to play people.
So why not drop them out of the top eight entirely?
Look, they’re undefeated. They made it through a pretty tough league. There were some close games and some not-so-close games. So you’ve got to look at the significant factor that they are undefeated, and in this day and age, the parity is pretty close. To go undefeated is pretty tough. But they needed any kind of a win. That was the only strength of schedule that stood out to us and made us go, ‘Whoa. Look at that strength of schedule.’ There was one other – Denver. We were like, ‘Whoa. Look at this strength of schedule. No. 2 overall and in nonconference, No. 5 in the whole country.’ That means they played somebody. And they don’t have one significant loss. They have losses, but all of them were against top teams in order to get that kind of rating. And they have a very significant win over No. 3
Penn State coach Jeff Tambroni questioned the seemingly shifting emphasis of criteria to determine the last two at-large bids, which went to Denver and Princeton. Can you illuminate the thought process?
Princeton had the most stable of RPIs when you got down to those bubble teams. And Princeton doesn’t have a bad loss on the schedule. They lost to Yale, Hopkins,
If you're judging a team's candidacy by RPI, what about Fairfield, which had an RPI of 13?
Then you look at their strength of schedule [No. 21] and you go, 'How could the RPI give them that kind of a ranking?' Penn State did a lot of good things. They had a good strength of schedule. I'm heartbroken for them. You always walk away with one or two that you just feel so bad about. I can't tell you how many hours we spent talking about it. We just couldn't move Princeton out, and we weren't going to move Denver out. That's what it came down to, and I don't think Jeff will ever understand it, and I don't blame him. If I was in his shoes, I'd be just as mad or just as frustrated as he is.
When bubble teams like Loyola in 2009, Colgate in 2011 and Penn State this year are left out of the tournament, it usually re-energizes the argument for expanding the field. Is that a solution to avoid this situation?