Clearly the schedule was not strong and no one has ever said it was. But the major falllacy in all the 20/20 hindsight bashing of the schedule is and always will be this: You can't just say if only we had played so and so we would have had a 4 seed or a 2 seed or whatever. It doesn't work that way because you don't know what effect a different schedule would have had on the rest of the schedule.
Maybe we would have lost confidence if we had lost some early games and not gone 16-0 in conference. What then? Would our early loss to Temple in the A-10 have knocked us out entirely? Think St. Joes in 2004-05. We were 16-0 in Conference and lost one regular season non-conference game. But that record was not ironclad. We had several games that could have been L's in that January-February stretch: Marshall, St. Louis, St. Joe's (#2), Charlotte. Who says that under a different set of circumstances everything else stays the same. Even if we had one, two or three tougher games, what if we lost all three. The Comittee doesn't just look at SOS but also whether you won any of those games. The A-10 would have still been bad, everything else held constant.
Also, this notion that playing tougher teams would have somehow guaranteed that we would have been better prepared for the tournament is hogwash. Let's assume we were a 2-3-4 seed. Was UNC better prepared because of their schedule? How about Iowa? Kansas? Illinois? Ohio State? Tennessee? Conversely, would someone please tell me how GMU's schedule prepared them for a run to the Sweet 16. What you do in November/December is not as important as what you do in late-February/March as far as tournament preparation. I don't see anyone crying on their boards about how they were ill-prepared to compete by their schedule yet the results were the same or worse.
The point is that if your Aunt had them she'd be your Uncle.
The fact of the matter was that before the season how many of you thought we'd lose just 2 games even with the weak schedule? I believe one of Herve's polls has the answer to this. If you didn't think that then, isn't it a little disingenuous to now come here and say that we should have known we would be playing for a 2/3 seed and therefore the schedule was a disaster? In fact, no one here prior to Selection Sunday thought we would get an 8 seed, schedule and all. Further, how we got to that 8 seed is only punctuated by the fact we lost. Had we defeated Duke would anyone be worried about the 8 seed now?
I have it on pretty good authority that we were probably going to get a 4-5 before Pops injury and the Temple loss. There is also good information that the Committee may have moved us down a line to avoid some scheduling conflicts - lucky us! Therefore, the non-conference schedule probably cost us 2-3 seeds at best from a 2 to a 5 and the other factors cost us just as much. Clearly, the Pops injury, the Temple loss and the scheduling conflict provided a perfect storm that allowed the Committee to give us an 8 seed.
The schedule was the schedule and the season, the season. You can't just pick the parts you like and criticize those you don't. You get the whole package, because that is all we know for sure. Thus, there are no lessons in this that are capable of repetition. Net year is an entirely different year, different A-10, and more importantly different team. If you told me that we would be 27-3 again with the Conference the same certainly I would do things differently. But the point is that no one can say that. We could have the very same OOC schedule and make the tournament. We could have a much tougher OOC schedule and not make the tournament. Most of this will depend on what it always depends on - the conference. If the conference is good there is less pressure to play a tough OOC schedule. If the Conference is bad, there is more pressure. Since it is difficult to tell how good or bad the conference will be beforehand or how good or bad your team will be, scheduling is a guess - it can backfire either way. Therefore, to blame anyone for anything related to this season is not only unproductive at this point but has no bearing for the future since each year has a scheduling philosophy and options that are unique to that year. Couple that with the limitations facing GW which have been discussed ad nauseum, finding the perfect scheduling is difficult process at best.
Lost in all the discussion here is that GW received its highest NCAA seed ever despite our beefs with the Committee. To me that means we are moving in the right direction as a program and as I said, I wouldn't trade our players and our season (schedule included since you get the whole package) for any.