In an exclusive interview, Athletic Director Jim Phillips revealed that Northwestern basketball actually abstained from the 2012 NCAA Tournament. The athletic department felt that the nature of the tournament – which uses rankings and seeding to decide the fate of its participants – clashed with our glorious university’s ideals.
"The Selection Committee relies on arbitrary rankings of individual teams, and then again places teams into a numerical hierarchy to start the tournament," Phillips said. "No team should be ranked No. 1 or No. 16. We’re all equals."
This proclamation comes in the face of great criticism, as fans and fault-finders alike have lamented the absence of our wondrous Wildcats from the tournament. Head coach Bill Carmody’s recent contract extension had many questioning Northwestern’s commitment to making the tournament – but the point is moot, according to Phillips.
"Northwestern’s tournament drought is not a product of the Selection Committee's decision-making," he said, "but a reflection of our great university’s steadfast commitment to equality of all." Phillips also added that because the very idea of being ranked above or below another team is so ludicrous, Northwestern also insists on being excluded from the AP Top 25 rankings.