The top seeds in the NCAA tournament have, in recent years, had the advantage of playing as close to home as possible, especially during the early rounds. Now, though, those teams in contention for the No. 1 overall seed will get to pick where they’d most like to play.
The NCAA Division I Men’s Basketball Committee on Monday announced changes related to the NCAA tournament – none more important than allowing those schools in contention for the top overall seed the chance to choose where they’ll play during the first four rounds rounds of the tournament.
At a date “far in advance” of Selection Sunday, teams that are in contention for the No. 1 overall seed will submit its preferred locations for those rounds to the NCAA tournament selection committee. The No. 1 overall seed would then receive its preferred path.
In some instances, the new process might not deliver results much different than in years past. If Duke is in contention for a top seed next year, for example, the Blue Devils would likely choose to begin the tournament in Greensboro, and then play its regional games in New York City.
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That’d be no different than Duke’s likely destinations before contending schools were allowed to submit their location preferences. Schools with less obvious choices would have more difficult decisions to make. And, since tournament sites rotate annually, an easy decision for one school in one season might become more difficult the next season.
The Division I Men’s Basketball Committee also supported revising the analytic metrics that are used to select and seed teams in the tournament. It’s unclear what that means, exactly, but the committee “supported in concept revising the current ranking system” used in seeding and selecting the tournament field.