Revision to First Four seed list tweaks opening games to NCAA Tournament

Very rarely does NCAA Tournament bracket news in the middle of July recruitment season usher in important nuggets of information.

Consider this blog as one of these VIP keys to future understanding of the NCAA brackets each and every March.

CBSSports.com mentioned this past Monday these criteria that will hopefully see the NCAA Men’s Division One Basketball Committee achieve more geographic balance and hopefully some overall fairness in future brackets:

  1. At-large teams are voted into the field currently four at a time in an unranked fashion. The seeding process then ranks the field 1-68, also done four at a time. In the past, the at-large half of that group was determined to be the last four such teams voted into the field during the selection process. Those teams were kept together behind the other at-large teams in the seed list. With this new system, those teams will be subjected to the full seeding evaluation that goes on during that complex and intricate process.  In other words, when the full seeding list from 1-68 is complete, the last four at-large teams on that list will play in the First Four set of games in Dayton, Ohio.   It should not be that unusual for certain teams to be seeded in a different order than they are voted into the field, although you could safely presume that would not create such a large discrepancy in terms of pecking order.
  2. This new rule change will not prevent the Dayton Flyers from playing in their home gym.  While it might be possible for the Flyers to be placed in a different seed if that was allowed to be part of that process, this change does not prohibit Dayton from playing at home if they are in fact one of the last four at-large teams in the field.
  3. Remember Kentucky and Wisconsin when they both occupied number 1 seeds this past March?  The committee now has given itself the flexibility to move the overall top No. 2 seed from its natural geographic region if it shares that region with the overall No. 1 seed.  This will achieve a fairer balance between the rest of the 16 teams that will comprise each of the four regions.
  4. This is more of a cosmetic rule than anything else, but certain committee members will be disqualified from discussing or voting on teams in future tournaments in which an immediate family member is employed by the school’s athletic department or they occupy a roster spot of any men’s basketball team.

Again, if the NCAA feels in their best interest to tweak the overall S-Curve–so be it.  If in fact it does happen, I am sure you will probably hear me talk about it in a future podcast.

In separate news…Michigan State athletic director Mark Hollis was tabbed to be the 2016-2017 NCAA Division One Chair of the Men’s Basketball Committee.  This coming year, the 10 person committee will be headed up by Oklahoma AD Joe Castiglione.

At least, that should be an easy answer for all of you CBS Sports trivia buffs as the first guy that Jim Nantz, Greg Gumbel, Seth Davis, and others will be picking brains with during the next two Selection Sunday broadcasts.

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