The NCAA is becoming more and more forthright about what goes into the NCAA tournament selection process of late, and I think this is a wise and proactive move for the organization.
Rather than hiding behind a piece of paper, the organization is opening their doors and allowing an inside glimpse at what really goes into making those brackets. Aside from the traditional principles and procedures that are listed on the NCAA website, the organization tweeted, live blogged, and shared the struggles that the selection committee runs into when creating the oh so important tournament field. [Take a gander at the CoverItLive chats to see what some of the seeding/pairing decisions were...]
Conference representatives and media members alike worked together to create their bracket in a two-day mock selection seminar. The participants were: Brittany Diehl (Fox-TV Indianapolis); Kate Fagan (ESPN.com/ESPNW); Kris Gardner (KCOH Radio); Jennifer Smith (Lexington Herald-Leader); Jim Sukup (Collegiate Basketball News); Brenda VanLengen (Fox Sports/ESPN); Abby Waner (ESPN) and Jerry Lee Woodley (The College Sports Report); Andrea Lloyd (The Mtn. Network); Leslie Casey (America East); Natalia Ciccone (Pac-12); Debbie Davis (Conference USA); Niki DeSantis (Colonial); Melissa Kristofak (Atlantic 10); Joni Lehmann (Big 12); Greg Mette (Summit League); Dan Mihalik (Big Ten); Sarah Naggar (Big East); Sarah Bobert (Marquette University) and Jack Watford (WBCA).
After the process Kate Fagan, who has been on the other side as a player waiting to see her school's name and pairing pop up, wrote about some of the myths that were busted during the committee process. She talks about her experiences at Colorado when it came to bracketology. Her preconceived ideas on how the committee places teams led to her mythbusting about "Someone on the selection committee has a beef!", "The committee humors itself by creating storylines", "Lower Middle Bumbleton State doesn't get a fair shake!", and "The process is riddled with human errors [with particular attention to my team of choice, Oklahoma State]".
Her piece is well worth a read and might soften your minds to some of the pairings, seedings, regions and teams included when that magical journey to be the best of the best during the madness of March begins in earnest. Of course, with all the basketball that has been played since the original panel meetings and all the basketball yet to be played before the actual committee selections, the mock is now in the land of the dinosaurs!