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NCAA tweaks bracketing guidelines
Posted By HOOPSWORLD On August 1, 2013 @ 5:58 pm In Wirenews | Comments Disabled
by Nicole Auerbach, USA TODAY Sports
As athletic conferences have expanded in size, new problems have arisen for the NCAA men’s basketball committee when forming the bracket for the NCAA tournament.
Rules restricted how soon teams from the same conference could face one another, which limited flexibility when bracketing and sometimes forced teams to get moved up or down from their “true seed line” in order simply to avoid a matchup.
On Thursday, the NCAA announced changes to its bracketing principles. For starters, teams in the same league that only meet once during the season can face each other as early as the round of 32. If teams met twice during the season, they can’t meet until the regional semifinals. If they played three times during the season (including the conference’s postseason tournament), they cannot meet until the regional championship.
In another move aimed at protecting teams’ true seeds, the NCAA says it will only protect the top four teams from being in the same region in each conference if they are seeded on the first four lines (meaning that they are the top 16 teams in the field, in the committee’s eyes). In the past, the top three teams from each league were always separated, regardless of seeding.
“It is important we avoid the top teams from leagues receiving multiple bids to the tournament from playing one another when they are seeded in the first quadrant,” men’s basketball committee chair Ron Wellman said in a statement. “But after those first four lines are seeded, we want to remain as true to the seed lines as possible. Too often we have had to move teams up and down a line because we have been limited by our principles on teams from the same league. These changes will give us permissions we have not had previously.”
Since 2007, there have been 12 instances of a conference placing seven or more teams into the NCAA tournament field. (In the tournament’s history, this has only happened 18 teams, another testament to growing conferences.) The NCAA says an average of 10 teams per year have moved up or down at least one seed line in … [For more on NCAA tweaks bracketing guidelines for tournament, click here.]
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