Good news in our ongoing quest to have the NCAA not suck so much: Mitch Barnhart has been chosen as a member of the NCAA Division I Basketball Committee, aka the Selection Committee that picks the 68 teams for the NCAA Tournament each March. Barnhart will be part of the 10-member committee for the next five years, something that has to make John Calipari very happy.
“This opportunity to serve is a tremendous honor and I am humbled to receive it,” Barnhart said. “The NCAA Men’s Division I Basketball Committee is tasked with setting the field for one of the greatest events in all of sports and I am eager to contribute to that process. I respect my new fellow committee members a great deal and look forward to working with them, as well as (NCAA vice president of men’s basketball championships) Dan Gavitt.”
Last year, Barnhart was very vocal with his criticism of the draw Kentucky received from the Selection Committee, penning a letter in support of John Calipari.
In short, I believe the process of selecting NCAA Tournament teams must be both more transparent and more standardized. The Selection Committee has made progress by revealing the S Curve after the bracket is announced, but it should consider following the lead of the College Football Playoff Committee and release updates prior to Selection Sunday.
Even more importantly, the criteria used must be specifically outlined and prioritized, consistently applied, and clearly communicated. This would eliminate all doubt about what coaches must do in scheduling and what teams must do during the season to reach the tournament.
Hopefully Barnhart’s suggestions will result in some changes now that he’s officially part of the committee.