The Selection Committee is responsible for selecting and seeding teams for the NCAA Tournament. The committee evaluates a wide variety of resources throughout the season to form individual qualitative and quantitative opinions that determine their votes on all issues related to selections, seeding and bracketing. These evaluations, combined with hours of personal observations and discussions with coaches, directors of athletics and commissioners, are the basis of every individual’s decision.
The committee is composed of experts in college basketball who are familiar with the game and its intricacies. They use a variety of data and tools in their deliberations, including the NET ranking, head-to-head results, comparison of results against common opponents, imbalanced conference schedules and overall and non-conference strength of schedules. The committee also weighs the impact of key player and coach availability, as well as travel difficulties and other uncontrollable variables.
During the selection process, the committee reviews the performance of all teams in various categories, and then ranks those teams on an equal basis. Ultimately, the committee selects and seeds five final automatic berths and a number of at-large teams based on its evaluations.
A good Selection Committee should be diverse to provide varying viewpoints and eliminate bias. You can achieve this by inviting people from different departments, organizations, and client groups to serve on the committee.
Each member of the Selection Committee is required to submit a professional conduct disclosure. The committee chair is responsible for reviewing all disclosures and assessing whether any potential conflict of interest exists. If the committee chair believes that a potential conflict of interest is significant, he or she should recommend to the delegated authority that the individual be replaced on the Selection Committee.
The committee’s work to seed the teams begins in earnest after the final games of the regular season and continues through Selection Sunday, the day when the brackets are unveiled. The committee’s work to select the at-large teams carries on into Selection Sunday as well, but it is not possible to complete that portion of the process until all the conference championship games have been played.
If the committee cannot agree on a rank for all of its at-large teams, it must break the tie using an alternate method. This can include discussion and deliberation between the committee members, or a vote with each member of the Selection Committee casting a single ballot.
The committee also considers the possibility of rematches in the first and second rounds of the tournament, but it cannot move teams up or down its true seed line to avoid them. In addition, the committee attempts to avoid rematches of at-large teams from the previous year’s tournament. The committee must balance these and other factors to produce its rankings for the tournament.