After his team narrowly missed out on an at-large bid to the NCAA tournament, Illinois State basketball coach Dan Muller took to Twitter (bitmoji included) to try to find power conference opponents to boost his team’s resume.
ACC BIG 10 BIG 12 SEC PAC 12 BIG EAST. It's me again. Looking 4 home & home next year. Pls call me 4 chance 4 QUALITY road win, top 33 RPI pic.twitter.com/zYAZpR3kJn— Dan Muller (@DanMuller) March 13, 2017
The Redbirds finished the season 27-6, but didn’t get the Missouri Valley’s automatic bid after a loss to Wichita State in the conference tournament final. The Redbirds earned a No. 1 seed in the NIT.
Muller’s frustrations speak to a common problem among mid-major teams, as the selection committee often denies at-large bids to teams from smaller conferences. According to ESPN.com, many schools from the so-called “Power 5” conferences (ACC, Big Ten, Big XII, Pac-12, SEC) are reluctant to schedule strong mid-major teams for fear losses would hurt their tournament chances.
“What the committee is asking for is not possible sometimes,” Muller told the Chicago Tribune. “Our staff probably called 25 of the schools that made it to see if they would play us. What do they want us to do?”
If it’s any consolation, Muller’s tweet did get one response from a Power 5 AD. Ole Miss’ Ross Bjork tweeted “We’d love to match up.” Whether the Redbirds and Rebels meet on the court remains to be seen.
What do you think of Muller’s Twitter strategy? Let us know in the comment section.