INDIANAPOLIS —The NCAA Men’s Division I Basketball Committee was briefed on topics discussed by the National Association of Basketball Coaches’ ad hoc group, which was formed last month to offer perspective to the committee on matters related to the selection, seeding and bracketing process. The ad hoc group made a series of recommendations on the process to the Men’s Basketball Committee. The committee openly considered each recommendation and either adopted the proposal, reaffirmed an existing principle, or agreed to study further in collaboration with the ad hoc group those concepts that had merit and common interest.
The committee decided that the overall No. 1 seed would be provided the opportunity for institutional preference in its geographic assignment to first- and second-round and regional sites. Preferences would be communicated by teams in contention for the overall No. 1 seed far in advance of Selection Sunday in a process to be determined.
The committee also reaffirmed its principle to give equal weight to conference tournament and regular-season results, and agreed to provide NABC ad hoc group members a mock selection exercise in both February for administrators and May for coaches.
The most significant and comprehensive NABC recommendations on the selection, seeding and bracketing process involved revising the analytic metrics used by the committee and prioritizing certain criteria in the principles and procedures. The basketball committee supported in concept revising the current ranking system utilized in the selection and seeding process, and will work collaboratively with select members of the NABC ad hoc group to study a potentially more effective composite ranking system for possible implementation no earlier than the 2017-18 season.
The committee also agreed in concept with the NABC recommendation, as evidenced by past practice in the process, that criteria such as quality wins, overall and non-conference strength of schedule, and road/neutral wins were primary criteria in selecting and seeding the tournament field. Further analysis and study of refining and possibly redefining those specific criteria for the future will be considered by the basketball committee and ad hoc group representatives over the next year. Finally, a longer-term discussion will be ongoing regarding the use of geography and impact of intra-conference matchup possibilities in the principles and procedures for bracketing.
Also, the committee reviewed strategic priorities for the NCAA Division I Men’s Basketball Championship over the next five years with regard to promoting education, evolving the tournament, aligning with key stakeholders, expanding the demographics of the tournament’s fan base and creating an elevated tourney experience for teams, officials, fans, broadcast partners and the media. The group also determined it would conduct its selections meeting in New York City for a second straight year. The meeting will take place March 7-12, 2017.