Women’s college basketball is always two steps ahead of the men’s game.
The shot-clock was 30-seconds long well before it was institute in the men’s game. The best women’s teams consistently scheduled each other before the Champions Classic, the CBS Classic and every other “Classic” became a men’s ritual. They’ve already made the switch to quarters instead of halves, and the men should do the same soon. This year’s addition might be their best idea yet.
Instead of waiting to reveal all the seeds for the NCAA Tournament on Selection Monday, the NCAA is revealing the Top 16 seeds of the bracket four times during the regular season. They will be released every two weeks leading into postseason play. The NCAA says the seeds will have no bearing on the final bracket.
It’s like the College Football Playoff weekly show, except better. There are more teams and the seeds aren’t revealed every week. The weekly rankings only make people angry. These seeds give teams a feel for where they are in the eyes of the selection committee, compared to what they see in the polls from the “experts.”
Matthew Mitchell’s team isn’t ranked in the AP Poll, second in the “others receiving votes” category, but the selection committee thinks they are currently a four-seed at No. 15.
3. South Carolina
4. Mississippi State
5. Florida State
7. Notre Dame
8. Oregon State
16. Arizona State
I’m a big fan of all the changes in the women’s game over the last few years. Quarters add more buzzer-beating drama, eliminating the double-bonus adds more drama by putting more pressure to make the one-and-one, and their last-minute timeouts take them to mid-court, just like the NBA. As much as I love the drama of Selection Sunday, I’d be happy to see the addition of this to the men’s game for a variety of reasons, including, but not limited to:
1. Kentucky would get primetime ESPN coverage on a bi-weekly basis right when the national audience quits paying attention to football.
2. Even though they aren’t supposed to have any bearing on the final rankings, it adds more transparency to the opaque process.
3. I’m tired of hearing Cal gripe about the committee every year. More transparency usually means more accountability. Cal will either be happy when it’s all said and done, or get his griping in on SportsCenter following each bi-weekly broadcast.
4. If they still found a way to insert Duke in the Top 16 at this point in the season, we would have empirical proof the selection committee is unconditionally in love with the Dookies.
5. The UK women’s team isn’t ranked by the AP but in the Top 15 according to the NCAA. If the four previous points didn’t appease you, UK’s example should say enough.
It will take some time for the change to make it into the men’s game. Until then, I hope we continue to see Matthew Mitchell’s team in the Top 16 until March 13.