Tag: NCAA tournament

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‘First four out’ to receive one-seeds in Postseason NIT

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One of the biggest questions that gets asked in the immediate aftermath of the NCAA tournament bracket being announced is which teams were the ones closest to getting into the field. Of course with “bracketology” being what it is today, we tend to have a better idea of which teams those are, but the NCAA has decided to ensure that the four teams in question are rewarded in the Postseason NIT.

Wednesday afternoon the NCAA announced that the “first four out” of the NCAA tournament field will be the one-seeds in the Postseason NIT. With the first three rounds of the Postseason NIT being played on college campuses (the higher seeds host), those teams won’t have to leave campus before a possible trip to Madison Square Garden for the semifinals and title game.

“We think this is a natural progression to make, given that these are the last four teams under consideration for the NCAA tournament,” Dan Gavitt, NCAA vice president of men’s basketball championships, said in the release.

“They have earned the opportunity to be a number one seed in the NIT and play home games in their quest to make it to Madison Square Garden for the NIT championship. We believe this is an appropriate way to connect these two postseason tournaments.”

With the NCAA taking control of the NIT in 2005, efforts have been made to greater connect the two postseason events and Wednesday’s news is the latest step in that regard. Since 2012 the NCAA has released an overall seed list (tournament teams ranked 1 through 68) that includes the first four teams left out of the NCAA tournament.

This year’s Postseason NIT will also serve as a testing ground of sorts for two possible rules changes, with games using a 30-second shot clock and a block/charge arc of four feet (increased from three feet). The Division I men’s basketball rules committee will use the data from NIT and CBI games as part of the evaluation process when it comes to the possibility of making these changes permanent.

NCAA Tournament to call Round of 64 the ‘First Round’, and more sites released

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The NCAA sent out a release on Monday morning announcing the sites of future NCAA tournaments, but before we get into that, here is the big news: The Round of 64 and the Round of 32 will now be called … the first and second round!


After years of hand-wringing and disgruntled writers complaining about one of the dumbest things in college basketball, the NCAA has finally decided that they will stop referring to those rounds as the second and third round beginning with the 2016 tournament.

The reason that those names were put into place was to eliminate the use of the term ‘play-in games’ for the First Four. It was a branding effort, really, and it worked. While the First Four is still termed the play-in games by most outlets, it’s used in the same way that the Final Four games are called the national semifinals.

The only weird part of the release is that the change won’t happen until the 2016 tournament.

Anyway, on to the sites.

The NCAA announced on Friday the locations of the Final Four through the 2021 season, as Indy, which hosts in 2015 and 2021, will bookend a rotation featuring Houston (2016), Phoenix (2017), San Antonio (2018), Minneapolis (2019) and Atlanta (2020).

On Monday, the sites for the first four rounds of the 2016-2018 tournaments were announced. Dayton will keep First Four duties for at least four more years, which is great news for a city that has really supported the event. As far as the rest of the preliminary round sites:


Notes: Neither Brooklyn nor Des Moines have ever hosted NCAA tournament games. Good on the NCAA on bringing the tournament back to NYC, although the Barclays Center doesn’t have the same character as Madison Square Garden.


Notes: Hey look! The NCAA tournament back at the Garden! This is something the NCAA should do as often as possible. It’s just a great setting for the games.


Notes: Wichita will get an NCAA tournament game for the first time in more than 70 years. Oh, and it’s official, there will be no domes until the Final Four in any of these three tournaments.

Notre Dame head coach Mike Brey wants the ACC to play 20 conference games


For the first time in five seasons, Notre Dame did not reach the NCAA tournament. With Jerian Grant readmitted to the university and Pat Connaughton given permission to play his final season on the hardwood before joining the Baltimore Orioles organization, the Fighting Irish could be on their way back to the Big Dance.

The ACC as a whole should be in store for a better season with Louisville joining perennial powers Duke, North Carolina and Syracuse while programs like Virginia look to remain near the top of the standings after winning the regular season and conference tournament titles last season.

Notre Dame head coach Mike Brey wants his new conference to improve on the six bids it received this past season. His solution? Play each other more.

From Brian Hamilton of Sports Illustrated, who was in attendance at the Positive Coaching Alliance event in Chicago on Monday:

“One of the things I actually floated at the ACC meetings that’s been getting shot down, but I’m going to stay with it, is 20 league games,” Brey said. “You remember the Big East, we were the first league to go to 18 league games, from 16 to 18. And in the league meetings, I’ll never forget the argument, the Georgetown athletic director said, ‘We can’t do that, because in those 32 games, our teams will be 16-16, instead of in the non-league games we would be 28-4. It’ll kill our RPI.’

“What it did was just the opposite. And you could almost say conspiracy theory a little bit in some of those years when we got 10 or 11 bids. It gave bubble teams yet another shot at a lot in league play in February. So I’ve actually said, ‘Let’s play 20, man.’”

It’s a model that Brey saw work for the Big East when the conference went to 18 league games in the 2007-2008 season. Notre Dame earned tournament bids in five out of six of those seasons with the Big East getting no less than seven bids each year, including a record 11 teams in the 2011 NCAA Tournament field.

This past season, the ACC had eight teams in the RPI Top 100, four of which — Duke, Virginia, Syracuse and North Carolina — were in the top 25. Pittsburgh had a poor out-of-conference resume, but the Panthers punched their ticket when they knocked off North Carolina in the ACC Tournament. N.C. State was also on the bubble, but the Wolfpack upset a struggling Syracuse in the conference quarterfinals, and ended up in the First Four.

“If we can’t get this thing to eight bids, it’s going to be hard on coaches,” Brey said.