That was the answer of the NCAA women’s basketball selection committee to the two Triangle teams that were “on the bubble” for the 64-team field.
The snub marked the first time since 1988 that neither N.C. State, Duke nor North Carolina was selected to the bracket.
UNC (14-18) wasn’t expecting to be selected to the 64-team field after its worst finish in a quarter-century.
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But the Wolfpack (20-11) had a Selection Show party at Sammy’s Tap and Grill with about 75 attendees while the Blue Devils (20-12) watched in the Legacy Room in the Cameron Indoor Stadium Complex.
Both teams had to say tearful goodbyes to the season. Neither will participate in the consolation WNIT, as State would not have been able to play at home while Duke has several major injuries that need more healing including those to all-conference players Azura Stevens and Rebecca Greenwell.
Duke was No. 47 and NCSU No. 49 in the RPI. Two teams whose numbers were 50 or higher -Auburn (57) and Purdue (66) received at-large bids.
Five ACC teams will be in the field for the tournament starting on Saturday, while both UNC Asheville and North Carolina A&T will carry the Old North State’s banner into the bracket after earning automatic berths with conference titles.
“There were a few upsets in mid-major tournaments, but we thought we had a resume that would get us in,” said N.C. State coach Wes Moore, who said he thought just one more win would have put the Wolfpack in the field. Its last appearance was in 2014. “There are a couple that are hard to explain. But we left it in the hands of the committee and I’m sure they were aware of a couple of games that we could have pulled out that would have made a big difference.”
Duke will miss the tournament for the first time since 1995.
“Well, obviously, we are very disappointed, especially for our seniors – for Mercedes (Riggs) and Amber (Henson),” Duke coach Joanne P. McCallie said. “Words can’t begin to describe how we feel for those two in particular. ...
“Obviously I feel very disappointed for the ACC. I feel very disappointed for N.C. State. I feel very disappointed for Georgia Tech. I can’t speak to it. I wasn’t in the room, but it is not good for the ACC.”
The Wolfpack’s all-ACC junior guard Miah Spencer said she was in shock when the final teams came on the screen and N.C. State was missing.
“I was very shocked,” Spencer said. “Especially when South Carolina’s bracket came up, because I had seen so many brackets with us in their region. Then I thought we were going to be with Utah, but I guess not.”
Two-time ACC Champion Notre Dame (31-1) was selected as a No. 1 seed; Louisville (25-7) a No. 3; Syracuse (25-7) a No. 4; and both Florida State (23-7) and Miami (24-8) No. 5s.
Notre Dame, in the field for the 21st straight year, will welcome MEAC champion North Carolina A&T (19-11) on Saturday at 6:30 p.m. on ESPN2.
Louisville, which is making its sixth straight appearance, will entertain No. 14 seed Central Arkansas (23-8) on Friday at 2:30 p.m. on ESPN2.
Syracuse, No. 4 in the Sioux Falls Region, will host No. 13 seed Army (29-2) Friday at 2:30 p.m. on ESPN2.
Florida State, the No. 5 seed in the Dallas Region, will take on No. 12 seed Middle Tennessee State (24-8) in College Station, Texas, at 1:30 p.m. Saturday on ESPN2.
Miami, the No. 5 seed in the Lexington Region, will square off with No. 12 seed South Dakota State (26-6) in Stanford, Calif., on Saturday at 6:30 p.m. on ESPN2.
UNCA (26-6) earned the No. 14 seed in Lexington and will visit No. 3 Kentucky (23-7) at Rupp Arena on Saturday at 1 on ESPN2.