The NCAA tournament selection committee used to treat the S-Curve the way PriceWaterhouse treats the Academy Awards winners. No more.
The “Hardcore Brackets” show it that aired after the NCAA tournament field was announced Sunday provided a glimpse into how the tournament viewed the field. And most importantly, just who the last at-large teams in the field actually were.
This set of screen grabs by SB Nation shows the S-Curve as it appeared on TV, which came down to Cal, South Florida, BYU and Iona as the last four at-large bids. Follow the curve. It’ll show you where your teams landed in the pecking order. Questions answered! What a concept! Coming on the heels of the committee’s other moves to create more bracket transparency, I love it.
Not that it’ll end all criticism regarding the selections.
“I wish it was that easy. As you know there’s only 37 at-large slots and if we set that kind of criteria, a lot of people could do that and then we’d have to look at who did it the best,” chairman Jeff Hathaway told the AP. “So I don’t think it’s quite that easy. It’s not as cut-and-dry as that, and again, 10 people look at the data in 10 different ways and they’re also watching all those games on TV and in person.”
Also, as CBS bracketologist Jerry Palm notes, the S-curve doesn’t spell out the exact seed order, but geographic reasons dictated some of the final seeds. Thus, why the BYU/Iona winner will be a 14 seed, the first at-large team to be in that spot.
Now, if only they had more time to refine matchups…
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