What the NCAA Tournament Bracket SHOULD Look Like Today (3/5/18)

Mar 16, 2016; Des Moines, IA, USA; A general view of the March Madness logo during a practice day before the first round of the NCAA men's college basketball tournament at Wells Fargo Arena. Mandatory Credit: Jeffrey Becker-USA TODAY Sports

The NCAA Tournament selection committee meets this weekend to select the 36 at-large qualifiers.

There are 32 automatic qualifiers in the 68 team field.

According to the NCAA’s selection criteria, these are the factors included:

  • RPI (Rating Percentage Index)
  • An extensive season-long evaluation of teams through watching games, conference monitoring calls and regional advisory committee rankings;
  • Complete box scores and results;
  • Head-to-head results and results versus common opponents;
  • Imbalanced conference schedules and results;
  • Overall and non-conference strength of schedule;
  • The quality of wins and losses;
  • Road record;
  • Player and coach availability; and
  • Various computer metrics.
  • “Quadrant” results
  • ESPN Strength of Record (SOR)
  • ESPN BPI ranking
  • KPI ranking
  • KenPom ranking
  • Sagarin ranking

If you notice, the selection committee no longer factors in the last 10 games of the season, so teams like Alabama, who – if they lose to Texas A&M Thursday in the SEC Tournament – will be on a 6 game losing streak, including 5 Quadrant 1 losses and 1 Quadrant 2 loss, won’t be as affected by this.

I’ve created a formula that gives us an idea of how the committee will be looking at these teams.

Here is formula, if everything were weighted the exact same:

(RPI + KPI + SOR + BPI + KENPOM + SAGARIN + SOS + Non-Conference SOS + Non-Conference RPI + Quad 1 # of wins rank + Quad 1 # of games rank + Quad 1 Win % rank + Quad 2 # of wins rank + Quad 2 # of games rank + Quad 2 Win % rank) / 15

No, all of these things are not weighted the same when the committee meets up, because there is always going to be a human element to the selection.

But if they are weighted the same, this is what the formula would look like.

First off, let’s go through and see the initial rankings.  I’ve only ranked through #73, and for the automatic qualifiers in smaller conferences, I’ll be using the RPI to seed those teams.

Below is a list of the conferences whose tournament champions will receive an automatic berth into the NCAA tournament (teams in bold already earned a berth, teams in italics have won regular season title).

  • Atlantic Sun (Lipscomb)
  • Big South (Radford)
  • Big Ten (Michigan)
  • Missouri Valley (Loyola-Chicago)
  • Ohio Valley (Murray St)
  • AAC (Cincinnati)
  • ACC (Virginia)
  • America East (Vermont)
  • Atlantic 10 (Rhode Island)
  • Big East (Xavier)
  • Big Sky (Montana)
  • Big 12 (Kansas)
  • Big West (UC Davis)
  • Colonial (Charleston)
  • Conference USA (MTSU)
  • Horizon League (Northern Kentucky)
  • Ivy League (Pennsylvania)
  • MAAC (Rider)
  • MAC (Buffalo)
  • MEAC (Hampton)
  • Mountain West (Nevada)
  • Northeast (Wagner)
  • Pac-12 (Arizona)
  • Patriot (Bucknell)
  • SEC (Auburn)
  • Southern (UNC Greensboro)
  • Southland (SE Louisiana)
  • Summit (S Dakota St)
  • Sun Belt (Louisiana)
  • SWAC (Grambling)
  • WAC (New Mexico St)
  • West Coast (Gonzaga)

Taking each of those teams as the Automatic Qualifiers for their conferences, this is how the bracket should look, if you don’t take the last 10 games into consideration, and you actually look at strength of schedule, non-conference strength of schedule, and all of the other factors into consideration, as they said they would be doing.

First Four Out

  • Florida St
  • Virginia Tech
  • NC State
  • Penn St

Next Four Out

  • Stanford
  • Kansas St
  • Mississippi St
  • St. Mary’s

The biggest factor in these teams missing the NCAA Tournament is their putrid out-of-conference scheduling.

The committee rewards teams that play really difficult schedules.

You can see their numbers in the formula ranking above.



About Gary Segars 1189 Articles
Gary began his first website in 1998 as a sophomore in high school, writing reviews of cds and live shows in the Memphis area. He became editor of his college newspaper, then moved towards a career in music.He started the infamous MemphisTider.com blog during the 2006 football season, and was lucky enough to get into blogging just before the coaching search that landed Nick Saban at Alabama. The month and a half long coaching search netted his site, which was known for tracking airplanes, over 1 million hits in less than 90 days. The website introduced Gary to tons of new friends, including Nico and Todd, who had just started the site RollBamaRoll.com.After diving into more than just Alabama news, Gary started up his first installment of WinningCuresEverything.com in 2012. After keeping the site quiet for a while, it was started back up in April 2016. Gary then joined forces with high school friend Chris Giannini and began a podcast during the 2016 football season that runs at least 2 times a week, focusing on college football, NFL football, and sports wagering, and diving into other sports and pop-culture topics.E-mail: gary@winningcureseverything.com Twitter: @GaryWCE