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NCAA tournament selection committee got their seeding at top correct

rooz NCAA tournament selection committee got their seeding at top correct image

MORE Though the most casual of college basketball fans might not pay close attention to the sport until the calendar flips to March, it’s clear that the Division I men’s basketball committee does not operate that way.
The selection committee’s No. 1 seeds — Villanova, Kansas, North Carolina and Gonzaga — had accumulated at least a handful of quality wins over the course of the regular season, including during non-conference play. And all four had won their leagues’ regular-season championships, all by multiple games.
The fact that Duke — a team that beat North Carolina twice in three meetings this season and, by the end of the night Saturday, had won more games against RPI top 50 opponents than the Tar Heels did — could not bump its hated rival off the top seed line shows that the selection committee did not value an Atlantic Coast Conference tournament title nearly as much as an ACC regular-season title.
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To be sure, the Blue Devils’ run last week — which included RPI top-25 wins against Louisville, North Carolina and Notre Dame — was impressive and drastically improved the résumé of a quite fascinating team in a season marked by player injuries and a seven-game coaching absence. But ultimately the committee did not give Duke the boost it justifiably could have — all the way to the top seed line.
It also is justifiable that the committee did not do that.
“You have to understand the process and the procedures,” selection committee chairman and Michigan State athletic director Mark Hollis said on a media teleconference Sunday night. “It starts on Wednesday. Duke came in on the No. 4 line, I think the top one, and throughout the week, they picked up a number of neutral-site, top-25 wins — three — which has an impact on scrubbing, which is the comparison of one team vs. another. That’s how teams go up and down the seed line.”
Hollis said Duke’s jump to the No. 2 seed line was one of the most drastic of all teams throughout the selection, seeding and bracketing process that took place over the past five days. Arizona was another, sliding up from the No. 3 seed line at the start of the process to No. 2.
But, ultimately, the Blue Devils got stuck behind Arizona, a team that shared the Pac-12 regular-season championship and won the Pac-12 tournament, and couldn’t move past the Wildcats. And the Wildcats were slotted behind other Wildcats, from the University of Kentucky (the top No. 2 seed).
Gonzaga center Przemek Karnowski celebrates after the Bulldogs beat Saint Mary’s in the finals of the West Coast Conference tournament at Orleans Arena. (Photo: Kyle Terada, USA TODAY Sports)
“Kentucky stopped Arizona, and Arizona stopped Duke,” Hollis said. “Neither Arizona nor Duke was compared to any of the No. 1 seeds. … it’s not a situation where we come in on Sunday and look at everything with a clean slate. That’s just the procedure we use and have always used.”
That Duke’s résumé never was compared to that of the No. 1 seeds at all is slightly surprising, but, again, entirely justifiable.
When asked about valuing regular-season league titles more than tournament titles, Hollis said, yes, regular-season titles matter. But so do non-league wins. Consider Gonzaga’s: Florida, Iowa State and Arizona, three of the Zags’ wins against RPI top-50 teams and a feather in the cap for a team that ultimately landed the fourth and final No. 1 seed.
Now, for those looking for some actual controversy, you can slide down to the mid-range seed lines. Some Southeastern Conference teams, such as Vanderbilt — a No. 9 seed with 15 (!!) losses — and South Carolina were seeded too high. Some Big Ten teams, such as Michigan — a No. 7 seed, same as the Gamecocks, despite the Wolverines’ run through the Big Ten tournament — were not addressed.
And perhaps most egregious of all: Wichita State landing a No. 10 seed in the South region. The Shockers, winners of the Missouri Valley Conference tournament, are the eighth-rated team in the country according to KenPom.com . Yet they’re a No. 10 seed because of the disparity between metrics systems; RPI, which the selection committee relies upon to sort teams and their quality wins, is no fan of the Shockers, which is unfair to both that program and the teams that will draw them in the NCAA tournament as a better-than-a-No. 10-seed No. 10 seed.
But, in the end, there’s nothing all that controversial about the way the committee approached the top seeds, the grouping of which ultimately contains the most Final Four contenders. That’s the part of the bracket that matters most, though the bubble and the final at-large spots receive a great deal of attention and intrigue. It’s better to treat the top teams fairly — and thoughtfully.
And the committee did just that this year.
PHOTOS: NCAA TOURNAMENT AUTOMATIC BIDS
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UCLA earned an at-large bid out of the Pac-12. Kelvin Kuo, USA TODAY Sports Fullscreen Dayton earned an at-large bid out of the A-10. Aaron Doster, USA TODAY Sports Fullscreen Arkansas earned an at-large bid out of the SEC. Nelson Chenault, USA TODAY Sports Fullscreen Minnesota earned an at-large bid out of the Big Ten. Evan Habeeb, USA TODAY Sports Fullscreen Butler earned an at-large bid out of the Big East. Bill Streicher, USA TODAY Sports Fullscreen Wake Forest earned an at-large bid out of the ACC. Michael Thomas Shroyer, USA TODAY Sports Fullscreen Cincinnati earned an at-large bid out of the AAC. David Butler II, USA TODAY Sports Fullscreen North Carolina earned an at-large bid out of the ACC. Bob Donnan, USA TODAY Sports Fullscreen Seton Hall earned an at-large bid out of the Big East. Noah K. Murray, USA TODAY Sports Fullscreen Kansas State earned an at-large bid out of the Big 12. Denny Medley, Denny Medley-USA TODAY Sports Fullscreen Oklahoma State earned an at-large bid out of the Big 12. Kevin Jairaj, USA TODAY Sports Fullscreen Louisville earned an at-large bid out of the ACC. Jamie Rhodes, USA TODAY Sports Fullscreen Oregon earned an at-large bid out of the Pac-12. Troy Wayrynen, USA TODAY Sports Fullscreen Creighton earned an at-large bid out of the Big East. Adam Hunger, USA TODAY Sports Fullscreen Purdue earned an at-large bid out of the Big Ten. Patrick Gorski, USA TODAY Sports Fullscreen Michigan State earned an at-large bid out of the Big Ten. Mike Granse, USA TODAY Sports Fullscreen Miami earned an at-large bid out of the ACC. Steve Mitchell, USA TODAY Sports Fullscreen Kansas earned an at-large bid out of the Big 12. Denny Medley, USA TODAY Sports Fullscreen Virginia Commonwealth earned an at-large bid out of the A-10. Charles LeClaire, USA TODAY Sports Fullscreen Saint Mary’s earned an at-large bid out of the WCC. Kyle Terada, USA TODAY Sports Fullscreen Florida State earned an at-large bid out of the ACC. Mark Dolejs, USA TODAY Sports Fullscreen Xavier earned an at-large bid out of the Big East. Noah K. Murray, USA TODAY Sports Fullscreen Maryland earned an at-large bid out of the Big Ten. Geoff Burke, USA TODAY Sports Fullscreen West Virginia earned an at-large bid out of the Big 12. Denny Medley, USA TODAY Sports Fullscreen Notre Dame earned an at-large bid out of the ACC. Anthony Gruppuso, USA TODAY Sports Fullscreen Vanderbilt earned an at-large bid out of the SEC. Christopher Hanewinckel, USA TODAY Sports Fullscreen Northwestern earned an at-large bid out of the Big Ten. Jerry Lai, USA TODAY Sports Fullscreen Marquette earned an at-large bid out of the Big East. Jeff Hanisch, USA TODAY Sports Fullscreen South Carolina earned an at-large bid out of the SEC. Jeff Blake, USA TODAY Sports Fullscreen Baylor earned an at-large bid out of the Big 12. Kevin Jairaj, USA TODAY Sports Fullscreen USC earned an at-large bid out of the Pac-12. Kirby Lee, USA TODAY Sports Fullscreen Providence earned an at-large bid out of the Big East. Stew Milne, USA TODAY Sports Fullscreen Florida earned an at-large bid out of the SEC. Christopher Hanewinckel, USA TODAY Sports Fullscreen Wisconsin earned an at-large bid out of the Big Ten. Mary Langenfeld, USA TODAY Sports Fullscreen Virginia earned an at-large bid out of the ACC. Anthony Gruppuso, USA TODAY Sports Fullscreen Virginia Tech earned an at-large bid out of the ACC. Anthony Gruppuso, USA TODAY Sports Fullscreen The Michigan Wolverines defeated Wisconsin to claim the Big Ten tournament title. Geoff Burke, Geoff Burke-USA TODAY Sports Fullscreen The SMU Mustangs beat Cincinnati to win the AAC tournament title. David Butler II, USA TODAY Sports Fullscreen Kentucky defeated Arkansas to win the SEC tournament title. Jim Brown, USA TODAY Sports Fullscreen The Troy Trojans defeated Texas State for the Sun Belt tournament title. Jonathan Bachman, Getty Images Fullscreen The Rhode Island Rams beat VCU to win the Atlantic 10 tournament title. Charles LeClaire, USA TODAY Sports Fullscreen Princeton defeated Yale to claim the the Ivy League tournament title. Chris Szagola, AP Fullscreen Arizona celebrates after beating Oregon for the Pac-12 title. Stephen R. Sylvanie, USA TODAY Sports Fullscreen UC Davis celebrates after defeating UC Irvine for the Big West title. Robert Hanashiro, USA TODAY Sports Fullscreen New Orleans celebrates after beating Texas A&M-Corpus Christi to win the Southland title. Erik Williams, USA TODAY Sports Fullscreen Duke celebrates after beating Notre Dame to win the ACC title. Anthony Gruppuso, USA TODAY Sports Fullscreen Middle Tennessee celebrates after defeating Marshall to win the Conference USA championship. Marvin Gentry, USA TODAY Sports Fullscreen Kent State celebrates after defeating Akron to win the MAC title. Ken Blaze, USA TODAY Sports Fullscreen Villanova celebrates after defeating Creighton to win the Big East title. Adam Hunger, USA TODAY Sports Fullscreen The Iowa State Cyclones celebrate after beating West Virginia to win the Big 12 title. Denny Medley, USA TODAY Sports Fullscreen The Nevada Wolf Pack celebrate after defeating Colorado State to win the Mountain West title. Stephen R. Sylvanie, USA TODAY Sports Fullscreen Texas Southern celebrates after defeating Alcorn State for the SWAC title. Eric Christian Smith, AP Fullscreen Josh Collins celebrates after North Dakota defeated Weber State in overtime to win the Big Sky title. Lance Iversen, AP Fullscreen North Carolina Central celebrates after defeating Norfolk State to win the MEAC title. Bill Tiernan, AP Fullscreen New Mexico State celebrates after beating Cal State Bakersfield for the WAC title. L.E. Baskow, AP Fullscreen The Vermont Catamounts celebrate after defeating Albany to win the America East Conference tournament. Gregory Fisher, USA TODAY Sports Fullscreen Bucknell players celebrate winning the Patriot League championship game over Lehigh. Chris Knight, AP Fullscreen Gonzaga celebrates after beating Saint Mary’s to win the WCC title. Kyle Terada, USA TODAY Sports Fullscreen The South Dakota State Jackrabbits celebrate with fans after beating Omaha to win the Summit League title. Steven Branscombe, USA TODAY Sports Fullscreen Northern Kentucky celebrates after defeating Milwaukee to win the Horizon League title. Raj Mehta, USA TODAY Sports Fullscreen Mount St. Mary’s head coach Jamion Christian cuts down a net after his team beat Saint Francis (Pa.) to win the NEC title. Steve Ruark, AP Fullscreen Iona celebrates beating Siena in overtime, 87-86, to win the Metro Atlantic Athletic Conference. Gregory J. Fisher, USA TODAY Sports Fullscreen East Tennessee State beat UNC Greensboro 79-74 to win the Southern Conference championship. Kathy Kmonicek, AP Fullscreen UNC Wilmington defeated Charleston 78-69 to win the Colonial Athletic Association championship. Mic Smith, AP Fullscreen Wichita State won the Missouri Valley Conference tournament. Jeff Curry, USA TODAY Sports Fullscreen Florida Gulf Coast won the Atlantic Sun Conference tournament. Rick Osentoski, USA TODAY Sports Fullscreen Jacksonville State won the Ohio Valley tournament. Mark Zaleski, AP Fullscreen Winthrop won the Big South Conference tournament. Chuck Burton, AP Fullscreen Like this topic? 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