After weeks of anticipation and thought, it is official — Rutgers will not be dancing in 2023.
The Scarlet Knights were left off the bracket for the NCAA Tournament for the first time since 2019 as the committee did not believe they did enough to earn an at-large bid. Rutgers was the second of the First Four Out, meaning there is a chance that it is one of the top seeds in the NIT.
After an 8-4 start in Big Ten play, Rutgers suffered a late-season collapse and was unable to overcome some poor losses.
Rutgers defeated Michigan in the second round of the Big Ten Tournament and many thought that this Ould be enough to get in. It turns out that the Scarlet Knights needed one more win against Purdue, or had to avoid some late-season mishaps.
The Scarlet Knights finished the season with four Quad 3 losses, including Nebraska at home and a blown lead on the road against Minnesota. Rutgers logged a 6-9 record in games played on the road and neutral sites, a 59 ranking in strength of record, and a bottom-50 non-conference strength of schedule. The Scarlet Knights did not get tripped up early in the year but the body of work as not impressive enough to help in March.
When looking at Rutgers’ resume, there seemed to be enough on paper with victories over Purdue, Indiana, and Penn State. Early-season losses to Temple and Seton Hall remained blemishes over the course of the season and the collapse against Minnesota might have been the final straw.
Rutgers defeated Michigan State at Madison Square Garden to move to 8-4 in conference play. It would go on to lose six of its last eight games heading into the postseason. The Scarlet Knights did not pass the eye test in terms of looking like an NCAA Tournament team and the committee did not see enough to put them in.
The Scarlet Knights will have an opportunity to play in the NIT if accepted. The bracket will be revealed at 10 p.m. ET on Sunday night. Whether you believe Rutgers got snubbed out of the big dance or not, there are some inexcusable losses down the stretch that hurt. In the end, the committee took many factors into account and decided that Rutgers was not in.