NCAA Tournament 2012: A Year Without Pitt

Jamie Dixon won't be patrolling the NCAA Tournament sidelines this year (Photo by Jim McIsaac/Getty Images)

Watching the NCAA selection show was a bit different this year. I did watch, but only casually. And then, in tuning in to ESPNU and not seeing the Panthers selected for the NIT made you realize just how bad the team was this season.

Typically, I can't get enough tournament coverage as soon as the brackets are released, but that's not been the case. I'm more put off by the coverage than anything else. Bitter much? Yeah, definitely.

The NIT all seemed like a reasonable possibility, but in actuality, was probably more distant than Pitt fans wanted to admit. When I saw a team like Valparaiso who was 22-11 wind up with a No. 7 seed, I knew that Pitt getting in wasn't likely. One thing I've learned about the NIT is that the field is actually better than we generally think. In watching the selection show, there were plenty of teams you could make a case for as NCAA tournament teams and even if Pitt had gotten in, a deep run was anything but guaranteed.

The season was just a disaster from start to finish, including the idiotic CBI acceptance, which I discussed earlier.

That said, I'm probably still filling out a bracket. With Pitt not in the tournament, it probably even makes it a bit easier to do so. Yahoo and SB Nation have teamed up for a bracket contest and you can sign up for it here.

Yahoo! Tourney Pick'em supports SBNation and the best college sports tournament of the year. Join the bracket pools of Drew Brees, Michael Phelps, and Lil Wayne-- all while competing in the $5 million Perfect Bracket and $10,000 Best Bracket Sweepstakes. Be part of the best and biggest Yahoo! Sports tourney game yet – sign up today!

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