In terms of job performance reviews, the NCAA Tournament selection committee is essentially an officiating crew: "You guys did a good job, but a couple of things ..." is pretty much the best it can hope for.
Mild criticism is always the goal for the committee, and for the most part it appears as though it has achieved that on Selection Sunday 2015. Beefs with the seedings of teams like Georgetown and Dayton, as well as the inclusion of UCLA, have been the most consistent rumblings, but for the most part it seems like the torches and pitchforks are going to remain in America's collective shed.
Let's look at the five items most worthy of discussion when it comes to the NCAA Tournament selection committee's performance in 2015.
Five Biggest Storylines
1. Kentucky gets a fair draw
Too many times in recent years, the committee's method of regional assignments for the teams seeded 1-4 was based on geography rather than total strength, and that left the tournament's overall No. 1 seed not as protected as it should have been. There were concerns of the same phenomenon occurring again in 2015, with Wisconsin, potentially the top No. 2 seed, being sent to Kentucky's Midwest Region. Instead, the Wildcats find themselves in a region with the weakest No. 2 seed in Kansas (see the full seed list here), the weakest No. 3 seed in Notre Dame, and the second-strongest No. 4 seed in Maryland.
The Wildcats might not have the easiest path to Indianapolis of all the No. 1 seeds, but they certainly don't have the most difficult. Going 34-0 through the season's first four months should earn you at least that much respect.
2. Dayton was the last at-large team to make the tournament
Despite virtually everyone associated with the sport believing Dayton was comfortably in the Field of 68, the committee revealed that the Flyers would have been the team which got the boot had Connecticut been able to steal the AAC's automatic bid on Sunday. The result of the surprise is that UD will now play on its home floor against Boise State in a First Four game on Wednesday.
It's been quite a season for Archie Miller's team, which made a run to the Elite 8 a year ago. Injuries and suspensions have left the Flyers with just six players on scholarship and no players taller than 6'6, but they still managed to finish tied for second in the Atlantic 10 regular season standings and make it to the championship game of the league tournament. Apparently none of that was enough to leave them as safe as they likely felt when they sat down to watch the Selection Show.
Dayton went 16-0 at home this season, and its 21-game winning streak at UD Arena is the seventh-longest active home winning streak in Division-I. Win No. 17 of the season would be their most important, and would get them to Columbus for a Round of 64 game against No. 6 Providence.
SB Nation presents: The most important things in life go head-to-head
3. Wichita State again gets a raw deal
A year ago, the Shockers' 34-0 start was rewarded by being placed in a region with the second-strongest No. 2 seed, the best No. 3 and No. 4 seeds, and a Kentucky team that had started the season ranked No. 1. This season, Gregg Marshall and company believed their 28-4 record would earn them a No. 4 or No. 5 seed, which would put them in position to both fly under the radar and make a run back to the tournament's second weekend. Not so much.
Instead, the Shockers are back in Kentucky's Midwest Region as a No. 7 seed, and could face No. 2 Kansas in the Round of 32. Despite the lack of confidence from the committee, Wichita State attempting to ruin UK's run at perfection almost exactly a year after the Wildcats did the same thing to them would be one hell of an Elite 8 storyline.
4. The East Region is the weakest at the top
Fairly or unfairly, Villanova was destined to be viewed as the "weakest" of the No. 1 seeds strictly because of its conference affiliation. Nova Nation is probably alright with that considering the relative lack of strength of the No. 2, No. 3 and No. 4 seeds in its region.
Sure, on paper No. 2 Virginia's résumé is impeccable, but the Cavaliers have had even more trouble scoring than usual since Justin Anderson's finger injury, and they come into the Big Dance having lost two of their last three games. No. 4 seed Louisville has had problems scoring all season long and is a line higher on the bracket than most figured they'd be, and No. 3 Oklahoma is another team that has already lost twice in March.
5. People will be complaining about UCLA for a while
Not only were the Bruins a surprise inclusion to most, but they shockingly won't even have to win their way into the main draw through the First Four. That's an awfully generous gift for a team that was just 2-8 on the road and 2-8 against teams ranked in the RPI top 50 this season.
When asked about Steve Alford's team after the bracket was revealed, selection committee chair Scott Barnes pointed to UCLA "gaining steam" at the end of the season as one of the major reasons for their inclusion. The Bruins are just 4-3 over their last seven games, and lost to both California and Arizona State in the month of February.
None of this is likely to make being left out of the tournament any easier to stomach for teams like Temple, Colorado State and Murray State.