Selection Sunday

Villanova players celebrate on the court after the NCAA Final Four tournament college basketball championship game against North Carolina, Monday, April 4, 2016, in Houston. Villanova won 77-74. (AP Photo/David J. Phillip)
AP Photo/David J. Phillip

NCAA announces changes to selection committee, process

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With the position of NCAA Division I Men’s Basketball Committee Chair being a one-year responsibility, the NCAA announced its choice for chairman for the 2017-18 season. Creighton athletic director Bruce Rasmussen will move into that role in 2017, replacing current chair and Michigan State athletic director Mark Hollis. Among the responsibilities for the chair are to answer the questions that come after the selection committee releases the NCAA tournament bracket and to hand out the national championship trophy.

That wasn’t the only change announced by the NCAA either, with one such alteration being quite the departure from the way in which the selection committed used to do things.

Per the NCAA, the top overall seed in the NCAA tournament will get to choose where they play the first weekend of the tournament. Teams considered to be in the running for the top overall seed will submit their preferences to the selection committee well in advance of Selection Sunday, so there won’t be any knowledge of possible opponents at that time.

While this is a change to how the NCAA has done things in past brackets, going primarily by mileage when looking to place top seeds as close to their campus as possible, this isn’t exactly a seismic shift since the top overall seed won’t be known until Sunday. But it does give those top teams an option, with designs on it being an additional perk that those programs will have earned.

The bigger change to the selection process is the attempt to revise some of the metrics used by the committee when selecting teams and filling out the bracket, with the National Association of Basketball Coaches (NABC) recommending that the men’s basketball committee take a look at this.

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.

The RPI is a metric that has been used by the selection committee for years, but with the growth in analytics the RPI has come under fire for being outdated. And given the number of options at our disposal these days, the formula used to put together the RPI looks even more archaic. Anything that can be done to modernize that particular metric, especially if the committee will continue to use it, can only benefit college basketball down the line.

NCAA will not mess with Selection Sunday by giving the NCAA Tournament a weekly bracket show

NCAA Men's Final Four - Practice
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Fans of Selection Sunday rejoice!

According to a report from CBSSports.com‘s Matt Norlander, the NCAA has decided not to mess with one of college basketball’s most sacred traditions by opting not to hold a weekly show like they did with the six-week show leading up to the College Football Playoff.

The NCAA’s senior vice president for the men’s basketball championships, Dan Gavitt, told CBSSports.com that the men’s basketball committee decided against a televised show that would unveil some form of official, updated look at how the bracket is currently situated.

“Ultimately some folks will agree with this, and others will disagree, but the surprise of Selection Sunday is one of the things that makes March Madness special,” Gavitt said to Norlander. “Peeking at the presents under the Christmas tree was not something this committee was anxious to offer up at this point.”

With college basketball being played on a nightly basis, it also means a show similar to the College Football Playoff’s version wouldn’t mean as much since things can change so quickly.

“Because games are played once a week, and essentially on the weekends, the rhythm of a weekly ranking is much more tradition-bound in college football than it is in college basketball,” Gavitt said to Norlander. “In basketball, polls come out Monday morning and they can be outdated by Monday [night]. The frequency of games, the number of days, the fluidity there creates challenges around doing a show on a regular basis.”

The committee probably also hesitated after the controversy caused by the College Football Playoff’s version of the show. The CFP had a weekly unveiling the top four teams that were currently in the new playoff model based on how the season was currently playing out. TCU dropped from third to sixth during the final week of the show despite a 55-3 win over Iowa State and many across the country weren’t afraid to mention the Horned Frogs during the College Football Playoff games on social media.

While a show like this is likely inevitable for the future — Gavitt also acknowledged that the NCAA is looking for more attention-grabbing solutions for college basketball —  things will be the way that college basketball fans have always enjoyed them in 2015.

Florida, Wichita State, Arizona, Virginia claim No. 1 seeds

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CBT’s Printable 2014 NCAA Tournament bracket

Florida, Wichita State, Arizona and Virginia claimed the No. 1 seeds in the 2014 men’s NCAA tournament, while the seeding committee also dished out a few surprises in the bracket, ensuring yet another lively March Madness.

The Gators (32-2), ranked No. 1 in the polls, claimed the tournament’s top overall seed and the top spot in the South Region after beating Kentucky in the SEC tournament title game. They’ll face the winner of the Colorado-Pittsburgh, while Kansas, Syracuse and UCLA round out the top four seeds in the region.

Virginia (28-6) won its first ACC Tournament since 1976 with a win over Duke and they were rewarded with the fourth No. 1 seed in the East Region. The experienced Cavaliers gets Memphis or George Washington in the third round while Villanova, Iowa State and Michigan State loom as potential threats as the remaining top four seeds in the region. Should the Cavaliers been the fourth No. 1 seed?

Wichita State (34-0) got the top line in the Midwest Region, but could face Kentucky in the round of 32, a matchup that would feature the team with the most NBA prospects vs. the only unbeaten program in the field. If the Shockers get past Kentucky, they’ll likely face Louisville, the 4 seed in the region. Michigan and Duke are the 2 and 3 seeds in the region.

Arizona (30-4) may have fallen to UCLA in the Pac 12 Tournament title game but can the Wildcats bounce back to get by a West Region that includes Wisconsin, Creighton and San Diego State?

RELATED: Unsure about your bracket? Prep on mid-majors here

First Four games (Tuesday, Wednesday in Dayton, Ohio)

No. 16 seeds: Cal Poly (13-19) vs. Texas Southern (19-14), Albany (18-14) vs. Mount St. Mary’s (16-16

No. 12 seed: N.C. State (21-13) vs. Xavier (21-12)

No. 11 seed: Iowa (20-12) vs. Tennessee (21-12)

That’s the rundown. Now you’ll need to prep for your bracket. The links below will get you started.

Here’s the official seed list for the 2014 NCAA Tournament and the conference breakdown.

Which teams got snubbed by the committee? We take a look at the bubble teams that didn’t make it.

CBT’s 2014 NCAA Tournament South Region Instant Analysis. Does Florida make it past Kansas, Syracuse and UCLA?

CBT’s 2014 NCAA Tournament East Region Instant Analysis. Can Villanova, Michigan State and Iowa State trump No. 1 seed Virginia?

CBT’s 2014 NCAA Tournament West Region Instant Analysis. Does Arizona have enough to get past Wisconsin, Creighton and San Diego State?

CBT’s 2014 NCAA Tournament Midwest Region Instant Analysis. Can Wichita State navigate past a loaded region that includes Michigan, Duke and defending champion Louisville?

Now that you’ve gotten the information you need on all things March Madness are you feeling confident with your bracket? Then be sure to enter College Basketball Talk’s bracket challenge to see if you can beat our experts.

And be sure to follow CBT on Twitter for the latest Selection Sunday thoughts and updates throughout the NCAA Tournament:

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