The NCAA has announced a couple of changes to their bracketing techniques based off a pair of issues from the 2015 NCAA tournament.
For starters, there has been an adjustment to how the committee will bracket the No. 2 seeds. The committee will be allowed to move the best No. 2 seed to a different region if it happens to get matched up with the best No. 1 seed, an issue that many were concerned about during the 2014-15 season as it looked like Kentucky, the best team in the country, was going to end up in the Midwest Region along with Wisconsin, the best No. 2 seed in the tournament.
“This change doesn’t mean we are going to a true S-Curve but if we can achieve it, or come closer to having more competitive balance on the top two lines without compromising our existing principles and without putting a team at a great disadvantage, we will consider it,”Joseph R. Castiglione, Oklahoma’s AD and the chair of the Division I Men’s Basketball Committee for the 2015-16 season.
The other change is a response to UCLA. The Bruins were a No. 11 seed in the 2015 NCAA tournament, missing out on the First Four completely despite being a team that few expected to even get an at-large bid. The previous rules forced the final four teams into the field to take part in the First Four. Now, the committee will be allowed to make changes there if they believe one of the other four teams is “worse” than the four in the First Four.
These are subtle changes, but ones that were a major issue after last season. Credit to the NCAA for addressing them.