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Mock NCAA Tournament selection committee member weighs in

INDIANAPOLIS — I’m inside a conference room in the NCAA offices. No, I didn’t buy a car for a recruit, or even a tattoo. I’m not sweating. I’m pretending to be half of Ron Wellman, Wake Forest athletic director and of 10 NCAA Tournament selection committee members. Mike Waters of the Syracuse Post-Dispatch is the other half, the smart half.

We’re pretending the regular season has ended and 13 automatic qualifiers have joined the field, which is the case during the real selection week by Wednesday. We just finished “conference monitoring.”

Each tandem was assigned three or four conferences and you are called upon by the chairman you quickly discuss what teams you think are worthy of consideration. If the league is so weak you’re sure only the automatic qualifier will make the field, you say “AQ” or “one-bid league.” Anyone in the room might be challenged.

Our leagues: Atlantic 10, Big 12, Ohio Valley, Southern.

During the presentation, I suggested the Big 12 should be a six-bid league and that Kansas, Oklahoma State and Kansas State don’t need any discussion. Baylor, Oklahoma and Iowa State merit discussion.

The next step: Every tandem works together to fill out a ballot of all eligible teams, leaving blank teams that deserve no consideration, clicking the “AL” button, standing for at-large (or in slanguage, ‘a lock.’) We click “AL” next to 18 schools, “C” next to 37. The other nine tandems did the same and we’re taking a bathroom break, awaiting the results of which teams will gain entry based on getting enough votes, which schools passed the first cut. The rest hope to make the NIT.

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Comments

swigrimm 1 year, 2 months ago

Very interesting. The value here is to remove some of the mystery (and thus perceived unfair manipulation) of how teams are selected and placed in the brackets.

Interesting realization #1: teams are submitted for consideration into the tournament by just two people. (makes sense. clearly more manageable for each committee member this way. But have always thought of "the committee" doing that - which implied full involvement of all members..)

Tom: by your description, do I read it right that teams identified by the tandem as "locks" are not discussed or open for challenge by the rest of the committee? Only those "worthy of discussion" are open for challenge/debate?

Another question: Assuming that the schools know which committee member is assigned to their conference, are those schools allowed to engage them in campaigning for the best possible consideration (eg: wine, dine, favors, etc)? Or is that topic/those activities off limits in discussion with them?

Good stuff. keep it coming!

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Tony Bandle 1 year, 2 months ago

Feel free to click NIT for Kentucky and North Carolina!!

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iamakufan 1 year, 2 months ago

I'm enjoying getting some insights into how this process works.

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Suzi Marshall 1 year, 2 months ago

As I said before, this is a crazy waste of money. What is the justification for such an expenditure? Who is paying for it?

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Michael Leiker 1 year, 2 months ago

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William Blake 1 year, 2 months ago

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longhawk 1 year, 2 months ago

Very cool collumn. How cool would it be to serve on the ACTUAL committee?

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