Overall Number 1 seed will have the choice to pick where they would like to play
I wonder how the crew at CBS/Turner Sports will spin this news.
Monday, July 18, 2016 will be remembered as a day where the NCAA Men’s Basketball Tournament got a major shot in the arm.
According to the Associated Press website, along with ESPN, CBS Sports, and The Sporting News sites, this news will hopefully make the overall bracket process more streamlined than it has ever been.
(Small note, I surely hope any hackers don’t get any further ideas after what happened during this past March’s Selection Sunday broadcast.)
Basically, what the Division I Men’s Basketball Committee decided is that the overall number 1 seed will have geographic preferences attached by teams in contention starting in the third or fourth week of February. There is no indication however whether the preferences made by schools would be guaranteed.
Teams will be able to choose from eight assigned cities for the first and second round, plus the four Sweet 16/Elite Eight regional sites.
The change will take effect beginning in March 2018.
Also on the table is the possibility of reseeding the teams (Hallelujah!) to create a more firm and fairer bracket.
Case in point, here is what I said back in March:
“…only Tulsa should have been replaced by Monmouth and some people felt Vanderbilt or Wichita State should have not been included, but instead where were the Bonnies from St. Bonaventure or the school remembered always by the one shot by the head coach–Bryce Drew and Valparaiso? They all fit the typical tournament profile, but the ten people that comprised the Selection Committee that enjoyed rather posh facilities in that fancy New York hotel room must have been thinking something else.
My only beefs are again about which teams should have deserved certain seed placement based on how the games turned out this weekend, and again–as Selection Committee Chairman Joe Castiglione kept saying on CBS Sunday night, “They did everything that was asked (by us) for them to do.” For Monmouth, Valparaiso, and South Carolina, their bubbles sadly burst. If the top seeds in many of the conference tournaments had won, the likes of Austin Peay, Holy Cross, and St. Joseph’s would not have even had a remote chance to be included–let alone smell the roses for a little bit.
Oregon was chosen over Michigan State, since the Ducks had an RPI of 2 and the Spartans had 11. If I was on that Committee, I would have put major stock on the Spartans four point win Sunday afternoon over a very gutsy Purdue team. Oregon basically blew out Utah before the first cards were laid out on the blackjack table. By the time the dust settled on the Vegas strip, to me a 30 point blowout won’t buy you more than a hot dog at Burger King.”
In other words, teams that deserve to be in the upper seven slots in each of the four regions will deserve it based on their overall body of record.
And if you need a general primer on what questions to ask yourselves as fans when we navigate the maze simply known as the regular season, I will mention three common questions right off the bat:
Who did this school beat?
Did their opponents have their full compliment of players during that game (injuries, academic suspensions)?
How many quality wins (mainly ranked teams) did this school earn on the road, especially during the non-conference portion of the season (typically runs from Veteran’s Day to just before Christmas)?
I am rooting for the Selection Committee to make these changes. Not only are these necessary, but it will avoid a lot of the unnecessary confusion and arguments many fans, alumni, cheerleaders, media members, etc. have been taking part in for the last three plus decades. Like Mariah Carey used to sing during the 1990’s, Make It Happen.