<
>
EXCLUSIVE CONTENT
Get ESPN+

Behind the bracket: Why the losing records?

The 2018-19 college basketball season is the sixth since major conference realignment. In the previous five seasons, eight teams have been selected to the NCAA tournament despite a losing record in their own league.

To this observer, that's eight too many. It's bad for the sport and disingenuous for fans to reward losing. And make no mistake, that is exactly what's being done.

The teams in question -- starting with Oklahoma State in 2013-14 (8-10, Big 12) and ending with Arizona State in 2017-18 (8-10, Pac-12) -- have combined to win a whopping two NCAA games in 10 chances, for a tournament winning percentage of .200. You know why? Because those eight weren't very good to begin with, a fact plainly demonstrated by each over 30-plus games.