NCAA selection chair: revamped evaluation a ‘positive step’
RALEIGH, N.C. (AP) — NCAA selection committee chairman Bruce Rasmussen figures the revamped way to evaluate quality of wins for determining this year’s tournament field is an improvement.
Speaking during a teleconference with reporters Wednesday, the Creighton athletic director called the new quadrant system that gives more weight to wins on the road or neutral courts “a positive step.”
“I think it’s really helped us in sorting the teams and it has refined the discussion,” Rasmussen said. “And we hope it’s more transparent and gives the public a better idea as to what the committee is looking at.”
The committee is holding its orientation meetings this week in Indianapolis ahead of Sunday, when it reveals a snapshot of the top 16 overall seeds with four weeks left until the field of 68 is announced on March 11.
In the past, the NCAA used a system that sorted wins based on RPI with no regard to game location. So wins against a team ranked 1-50 topped the resume, followed by wins against teams 51-100, 101-200 and 201 or higher.
Now the system grades wins differently based on location. For example, a Quadrant 1 win comes in home games against RPI teams ranked 1-30, neutral-court wins against 1-50 and road wins against 1-75. And a two-game season sweep of an opponent can show up in two categories, such as beating the RPI No. 75 team on the road (Quadrant 1) and at home (Quadrant 2).
“The tournament is played on neutral sites so obviously for the committee I think it has been important for us to look at how a team has performed either on a neutral site or away from home,” Rasmussen said.
SCHEDULING WEIGHT: Rasmussen said the committee will also examine teams’ nonconference schedules as part of the review process.
“It’s a resource that we look at,” he said. “We also look at their ... intent in scheduling: did they schedule some games away and at neutral sites in the nonconference? We call it ‘intentional scheduling.’ What did they intentionally do that they didn’t have to do? Did they challenge themselves?”
THE EYE TEST: Rasmussen said committee members got out to see No. 5 Xavier’s 98-93 overtime win at Butler in Indianapolis on Tuesday night. He said seeing teams in person is helpful, though he said the committee doesn’t use the phrase “eye test.”
“When you go to a game, I think you can see a little bit more the size, you can see the interaction, the chemistry that a team has — when something doesn’t go their way for instance,” he said.
LAST CHECKS: Rasmussen said the committee plans to wrap up its main work on the top 16 seeds before games begin Thursday, though he said the committee members plan to confer by teleconference both Saturday evening and Sunday morning ahead of the reveal on CBS.
He noted that 15 of the top 16 seeds revealed during the season last year ended up there on Selection Sunday.
PROGRAMMING ALERT: The March Madness Selection Show has a new home. The NCAA announced on Wednesday that the unveiling of the 68-team bracket will take place on TBS, moving from the broadcast’s longtime home on CBS.
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