Tuesday, December 6, 2022

Conference tournaments didn’t matter to NCAA selection committee

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It’s impractical, in fact, as a result of energy convention tournaments have ceased being valued as basketball celebrations and handled extra as tv stock.

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The SEC event? That’s 13 video games — and greater than a day’s price of programming over a number of networks. Same with the Big Ten.

Even the ACC, which is rooted within the custom of its basketball event as a lot as any league, simply received carried out with a five-day, 14-game marathon in Brooklyn, a lot of them calmly attended and largely unnoticed in Gotham.

Duke and North Carolina didn’t draw the identical in-person eyeballs they might have in a extra conventional ACC metropolis, equivalent to Greensboro, N.C., and even Washington. But eradicating them from the TV schedule would trigger a meltdown for the ACC’s broadcast companions. Same with Kentucky within the SEC, Kansas within the Big 12 and Michigan State within the Big Ten. So Barnes’s plan is a non-starter.

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Yet it’s truthful to marvel what the motivation construction is for anybody safely within the subject if the committee doesn’t permit the ultimate few days of the season to have seemingly any affect on seeding.

Barnes’s personal Volunteers are a nice instance. On paper, Tennessee has a superior résumé to Duke, a No. 2 seed. The Vols rank within the prime seven of every of the six metrics of the group sheets the committee makes use of. Duke was between eleventh and 14th.

Tennessee went 11-7 in Quadrant 1 video games, the best tier of contests on the group sheets; Duke was 6-2. Would the Blue Devils have dealt with taking part in twice as many high-end video games in addition to the Vols did? It’s an open query. To Duke’s credit score, it was 13-3 away from Cameron Indoor Stadium; Tennessee was 10-7 exterior of Knoxville.

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Big image, there isn’t a large distinction in touchdown a No. 2 or a No. 3 seed. The first two video games are a bit of more durable in concept for a No. 3 seed, the area semifinal marginally harder. The actual issues come when poor seeding shifts a group in line to be a No. 5 seed to the No. 7 line, or a No. 6 seed to the No. 8 line.

But for coaches, who’re disproportionately judged on NCAA event efficiency, what’s the incentive (in addition to contract bonuses) for profitable a convention event when it doesn’t assist their postseason standing and places gamers susceptible to damage?

This is one thing for the subsequent iteration of the NCAA’s basketball committee to think about. Conference tournaments signify about 10 % of the schedules for groups that make prolonged runs. It shouldn’t rely as 30 %, nevertheless it shouldn’t be 3 %, both.

But there are issues to have fun on this bracket, too. The committee appropriately recognized the 4 most full profiles of the season and rewarded Gonzaga, Arizona, Kansas and Baylor with No. 1 seeds. Baylor’s damage points may sink its try at a title protection, however its physique of labor remained sturdy.

While the order might be debated, the committee additionally picked the precise 16 groups for the highest 4 seed strains. Perhaps Iowa would really like a phrase, given the work it stitched collectively over the previous six weeks, however it’s in the identical subregional as a weak No. 4 seed that has performed with hearth numerous occasions this season (Providence). The Hawkeyes ought to in all probability be grateful their Big Ten title run didn’t push them additional up the board.

As all the time, whether or not the committee will get the ultimate few groups proper or flawed, it’s a aid that the dialogue isn’t over who’s No. 3 or No. 5 however slightly who’s No. 37 (or, extra precisely, primarily based on this yr’s seed checklist, who’s No. 48).

Then once more, Dayton or Oklahoma or SMU or Texas A&M (the groups simply exterior the sphere) might look to the likes of 2011 VCU and 2021 UCLA as causes to assume they might have made Final Four runs from a play-in berth as properly.

Oklahoma, it must be famous, beat one of many 4 finest groups within the nation in its convention event. Texas A&M toppled an eventual No. 2 seed (Auburn) and No. 4 seed (Arkansas) earlier than falling to Tennessee within the SEC event. Those had been spectacular outcomes however apparently had been too little and too late to transfer the committee this time.

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