The field has been narrowed in the NCAA Tournament.
March Madness has arrived, and on Sunday night, CBS Sports welcomed Tom Burnett, commissioner of the Southland Conference and chair of the NCAA Men’s Division I Basketball Committee, to discuss the selection process.
Controversy as Usual,
surrounds the selection process because some teams are chosen despite having weaker credentials, while others are left out while having a vocal constituency advocating for them. In his on-air interview after the NCAA Tournament bracket was revealed, Burnett explained the deliberations that went into selecting this year’s group of 68 teams.
“I’m not sure about smooth,” Burnett replied. However, there are always challenges to overcome. Much of it was due to the fact that this week’s basketball was fantastic, and many of us stayed up late watching the various conference tournaments.
We prepared for any eventuality, as we knew these conference tournaments were crucial and would require close monitoring.
There were “actually no hiccups,” just a number of teams that were always in the running doing well in the later stages of their respective championships.
NCAA Committee Selection Chair’s Thoughts
Tom Burnett responded candidly to a follow-up inquiry about whether or not the bracket was changed after the last conference championships concluded on Sunday.
We had to consider approximately ten distinct scenarios by the time we came to bracketing today,” Burnett said.
This meant that the selection committee had to examine ten separate seed lists and brackets. And of course, the one we released tonight required us to sift through all of the results from today to gather the last data points we needed to finish the process.
The NCAA Tournament Selection Process
Burnett shed light on the NCAA Tournament selection process by discussing how the job has been less difficult for him to do over the years.
“I would think that enlarging our committee, as we’ve spoken about before, has been really useful,” said Burnett. There has been a lot more press about our conferences, and I believe it has helped the process.
And, as we’ve already established, a national competition is crucial to restoring things back to normal for our crew. We are very excited to hit the road this week!