In preparation for what you’re about to read
It has been a busy football day around the KSR Compound. But that doesn’t mean we forget totally about basketball. Over on KSRCollege.com, the young writer extraordinaire J.C. Postel has an interesting write-up on the information you need to know about the NCAA Selection Committee. It is long, but very good…that is what she said:
In light of my recent iTunes purchases — One Shining Moment, Season’s ’96 and ’98 — it’s time we talk NCAA Tournament. Every year in early March the college basketball universe anxiously watches CBS’ Greg Gumble announce the Bracket. Then we print our own and let the gambling begin. This year, before we settle into the basketball coma that comes from Rivalry Week and Conference Tournaments, lets discuss some tournament essentials while we’re clear-headed.
In 2010, the Evidence of Bias in NCAA Tournament Selection and Seeding, a study conducted by Jay Coleman, Mike DuMond and Allen Lynch, gave us a glimpse into the world we all want to see, but can’t. What really goes on behind the doors on Selection Sunday? Here’s an opening quote from their study:
We investigate bias in the selection and seeding decisions of the NCAA Division I Men’s Basketball Committee. Using data on 910 teams associated with the ten tournaments from 1999 to 2008, we test for bias toward teams from seven ‘major’ conferences and six ‘mid-major’ conferences, as well as for bias towards teams represented on the Committee. We find substantial support for the hypothesis of bias in favor of virtually all major and mid-major conferences in selection and/or seeding, as well as evidence of bias toward majors over mid-majors. We also find substantial evidence of bias toward teams with some type of Committee representation.
The study determined that having a representative on the Selection Committee resulted in a higher seed (an average of 1.75 seeds higher for a ‘major’ conference) and increased the chance of getting an at-large bid too. If an AD is on the committee and a team in his/her conference is on the bubble, that team is 23% more likely to get a bid. If a commissioner on the Committee is representing a conference with a bubble team, that team’s chance to get in increased by 41%. The bubble team’s AD being on the committee increases its chance of getting in by a staggering 49%.
BBN, you deserve to meet the Fockers Committee that screwed Kentucky over last year decides which teams are in which are out.
Go to the 1:42 mark. It’s still annoying.
The 10-member NCAA Men’s Division I Committee selects teams then seeds the NCAA Tournament field every year. Members serve five-year terms and each year 1-3 new members join. The Committee is balanced geographically, with no fewer than two members representing the East, Midwest, South, and West regions at any one time.
MEET THE COMMITTEE
Jeffrey Hathaway, Big East Conference
Jeffrey is the former Director of Athletics at UConn and current Chairmen of the Selection Committee. He was forced to retire last summer from UConn and is only allowed to remain on the Committee because he’s now a consultant to the Big East. The Big East welcomes a team from California next season.
Lynn Hickey, UT-San Antonio Director of Athletics
Lynn Hickey is only the second woman ever to serve on the Men’s Selection Committee. She was an All-American at Ouachita Baptist University, which gives her a grand total of zero experience when it comes to men’s basketball. I’m all for equal rights, but I’m confused as to why she isn’t on the Women’s Selection Committee.
Mike Bobinski, Xavier University Director of Athletics
Mike graduated magna cum laude from Notre Dame in 1979. After playing baseball for the Irish he worked for Walt Disney as a CPA. His Musketeers got jumped by the Bearcats of Cincinnati earlier this season. We’re all praying for a rematch Mike. Make it happen.
Dan Beebe, Big 12 Conference Commissioner
Dan served on the BCS’ television negotiations committee with ESPN, which only hurts his credibility nation-wide. He is a native of Walla Walla, Washington and earned his undergrad degree from Cal Poly-Pomona. We can only assume he has a stutter, and that Walla Walla is a real place.
Doug Fullerton, Big Sky Conference Commissioner
Here’s a guy you should feel bad for. As magical as it sounds, I’m not making up what you’re about to read. Last year, the Spirit Lake Sioux Tribe wrote Doug a letter about the University of North Dakota Fighting Sioux’s logo (which was a headshot of a Native American, presumably a Fighting Sioux) claiming they would sue the UND Fighting Sioux if they discontinued the picture of the Fighting Sioux as part of their logo. So the Sioux Tribe threatened to sue the Fighting Sioux for removing the image of the Sioux in its logo. The NCAA took the logo down and the Sioux sued them instead. Got all that? Doug was also an assistant basketball coach for the Montana State University-Bozeman Bobcats.
Ron Wellman, Wake Forest University Director of Athletics
In 2010 Ron hired Jeff Bzdelik as the new Wake Forest Men’s Basketball Coach. Bzdelik came to Wake after a 31-64 record in three seasons at Colorado. Bzdelik is currently 18-31 at Wake. Awesome hire. Prior to joining the Basketball Selection Committee, Wellman served on the NCAA’s Division I Baseball Committee. He also coached baseball at Northwestern.
Steve Orsini, SMU Director of Athletics
Steve Orsini hired Matt Doherty at SMU. UK fans can thank Matt Doherty for being a big reason we got to 2,000 wins before North Carolina. Steve also worked for the Dallas Cowboys and graduated from Notre Dame, so he’s used to being overrated and losing a lot.
Scott Barnes, Utah State University Director of Athletics
Scott initiated a student fee policy at Utah State that generates over $2.1 million every year for the athletic department. Student fees are just mandatory donations. This is absurd.
Joe Alleva, LSU Vice Chancellor and Director of Athletics
Joe is Duke’s former AD. Good move Joe. What wasn’t a good move was the boating accident in ‘06 that left you with a head injury and your son with a ticket for operating a boat while impaired. Tell your basketball team to stop tackling.
Jamie Zaninovich, West Coast Conference Commissioner
Before taking over as commish for the WCC, Jamie held the two longest job titles in all of sports, as the Senior Associate Athletic Director for External Relations at Princeton and the Senior Assistant Athletic Director for Strategic Planning and Men’s Basketball Operations at Stanford. Jamie was able to get the now-Jimmerless-Mormons to join the WCC.
In review, the NCAA Tournament Selection Committee is made up of a group of individuals that boasts an AD that was forced to retire from his school, a woman who has no reason not to be on the Women’s Selection Committee, a former Walt Disney employee, a BCS television guy from Walla Walla, a former assistant basketball coach, a former baseball coach, the guy who hired Matt Doherty, the guy who implemented mandatory donations, Duke’s former AD, and the former Senior Assistant Athletic Director for Strategic Planning and Men’s Basketball Operations at Stanford. If you’re the AD of an entire division one program or the Commissioner of an entire conference don’t you have enough to do? Apparently the NCAA doesn’t think so. Enjoy these fun facts that go into the Selection Committee’s decision process every year:
— AD’s and commissioners are not present in the room during the discussion of the teams they represent. They do, however, walk right back in the room after and see what everyone decided.
— AD’s are allowed to be present when schools from their respective conferences are being discussed, but they aren’t allowed to speak. No rules are yet in place that prohibit them from non-verbal communication. Thus, slamming fists on the table, stare-downs, taking jackets off out of anger, and writing “they should be in” on the white board are all fair game.
— 5 Factors that contribute to your seed. Who you play — Where you play — When you play — How you play — and if you play home games in Rupp Arena.
— Committee members are assigned to conferences to monitor a portion of the 344 DI teams throughout the season.
— Committee members try and avoid regular season rematches in the tournament especially in early rounds.
— Teams from the same conference can’t meet until the regional final (elite eight) unless the conference has 9 or more teams.
— High or low rankings don’t determine seeds/bids. This could be bad for Murray State fans come March.
— Any team that plays more than three regular season games in one arena cannot play in that arena during the tournament.
— There are good losses. The Committee considers competitive games against quality teams good losses.
— On Selection Sunday the bracket stays empty until 3 or 4 pm, or just a few hours before UK beats Florida.
— 1-5 seeds have the best opportunity to be assigned to a nearby second round. Still, the NCAA is not all about money.
— The Selection Committee has the freedom to move a team one seed line up or down to assist in complying with the overall bracket principles. They also have the freedom to put every team wherever they want.
— A late season or conference tournament injury to a key contributor can affect a team’s seed.
— Define RPI: Team winning percentage (25%), opponents’ winning percentage (50%), and opponents’ opponents winning percentage (25%) make up an RPI rating. So, when Louisville lost to Providence a few weeks after losing to UK, it hurt UK because Louisville lost and because Providence is 1-8 in the Big East and barely over .500 on the season.
— With a record of 1-22, Towson boasts an RPI of 292 out of 344. Based on their RPI, they’re better than 52 teams, even though out of those 52 teams only 1 has a worse record. Makes sense.
That’s all for now Cats Fans. Mark your calendars, Selection Sunday is March 11th this year. I’m on twitter @JCPostelKSR