Kentucky. Tennessee. Virginia. Southern Mississippi. Maryland. And that’s about it.
Once again, we have reached the hours after the NCAA Tournament selection and there is a handful of controversy – and truthfully less than that in terms of true beef. But once again, the countless shows that dedicate themselves to (over)analysis of the field of 68 are swinging from the jock of the selection committee.
I feel like I write this blog every year, but I guess I feel like I have to, as every year the record plays again.
“Congratulations to the committee for putting together a great field.” We’ve heard it uttered countless times since yesterday at 6pm.
Hmm. “Congratulations.” Interesting choice of words.
I’m begging someone to explain to me how selecting the tournament field of 68 is praiseworthy. First of all, it’s the committee’s job to assemble the 68 most deserving teams. That’s what they do. Celebration of their ability to do so is akin to thunderous applause when I turn on the microphones in the studio. Completion of a task one is charged with conducting is hardly grounds for congratulations. Perhaps I'm making too much of semantics, but it bothers me.
Then there’s the “surprise” over who made it in and who was left on the outside looking in. Really? We didn’t all pretty much know who was going to make the field? Here you go:
1 – Take your top 25 ranked teams and add the “others receiving votes” in increasing numerical order. The most votes becomes 26; the second most votes becomes 27; and so on. That gets us around 40 teams.
2 – Factor in the automatic qualifying teams (conference champs) that did not make the top 40 ranker. That gets you to about 52 teams.
3 – Sprinkle in the best of the bubbles, based on a not so lengthy list of criteria like RPI.
Field determined. Boosh.