Saturday, March 5, 2011

NCAA Tournament Selection Process

I caught this on It describes the NCAA tournament selection process. It's a lot more democratic than I expected it to be. Committee members who are affiliated with a team participate in the discussion but remove themselves from the voting. Most teams are voted on many, many times before they are selected for the tournament and then again when they are seeded. Here's the write-up on the process:

It looks like the big names probably have an edge, especially early in the process. The further it goes along, the more it's up to the numbers. How exactly, is up to the individual voter, but conference affiliation or actual game play gets clouded by the numbers. The committee makes extensive use of the following selection sheet:

Assuming the committee members are knowledgable about college basketball and don't have unconscious biases, they probably come up with the best tournament possible. Between the last four in and the first four out it's likely a pickem, but it looks like at that point it's so close that one more quality win would be enough to take a team off the bubble. So ultimately, it's up to the team to prove that it belongs.

At the end of the article, the placement of teams is discussed. I still don't like the home-court feel that the top seeds get, but I get that the NCAA wants people to show up to the games without spending a ton of money.

After reading these, there isn't much to argue about with the system. Even if there are biases coming into the selection process, they're likely pounded out of the members over the 5 days. If a team is good enough, it'll make it. If it's on the bubble and makes it, it's lucky. If a team just missed, it should have won another game or two.

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