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The committee seeded those two teams six lines apart in the bracket. UCLA is a little better against the top 100, has a couple more bad losses. The Bruins are about the same on the road. There really isn't much difference. There sure as heck aren't 19 teams between them.
Middle Tennessee got in. Good for the Blue Raiders. Despite a gaudy number of wins, only one came against a top-100 team (Ole Miss), which is three short of what was needed the last 10 years. The pickings at the bottom of the bubble were slim, but not that slim.
Mike Bobinski, the committee chair, mentioned how well they had done on the road. That's true, but in a league with nothing but sub-100 RPI teams, that should be expected.
The message from the committee has always been that selection is about "who you play, where you play them, who you beat and who beat you." In the Blue Raiders' case, "who you beat" wasn't a factor.
Another message the committee has sent over recent years is that geography matters. It matters a lot.
Part of why Oregon is a 12 is because the Ducks were swapped down from an 11, their true seed, to get them to play out West.
The committee dropped Cal to a 12 as well, even though it violated two bracketing rules to do so. The committee set the Bears up with a regular-season rematch with UNLV and put the fifth-seeded Runnin' Rebels at a potential home crowd disadvantage by having to play Cal in the Bay Area.
The committee has also said it doesn't like to swap in and out of the 8-9 games because it views those two lines as the same, so to the committee, it's a two-seed move. However, the committee did just that with Villanova (up) and Colorado (like all Pac 12 teams ... down) to avoid a conference conflict for the Wildcats.
The committee even swapped teams within the PIGs. MTSU was the last team in, but is up at the 11-line instead of Boise State because the Broncos had already played Michigan State and the Blue Raiders were in a potential rematch with Ole Miss.
It just goes to show how much moving around has to happen to make a bracket work.