Here NCAA.com breaks down the complicated procedures involved with selecting, seeding and bracketing the teams involved in NCAA Men's Div. 1 Basketball National Championship. Learn about it!
Each member of the Division I men's basketball committee evaluates a vast amount of information during selection process. Their opinions -- developed through observations, discussions with coaches, directors of athletics and commissioners, and review and comparison of data -- ultimately determine selections, seeding and bracketing. CLICK HERE FOR COMMITTEE PROFILES
There are three phases to the process to determine the 68 teams for the tournament:
I. Select the 36 best at-large teams;
II. Seed the field of 68 teams; and
III. Place the teams into the championship bracket.
SELECTION, SEEDING, BRACKETING
The process follows these basic principles:
1. Committee members receive an initial ballot comprised of two columns listing all eligible Division I teams in alphabetical order.
Each member submits the ballot on the first full day of selection meetings:
a. In the first column, the member lists up to 36 teams that should be at-large selections, regardless of whether the team could represent its conference as the automatic qualifier.
b. In the second column, the member lists teams that should receive consideration for an at-large berth. There is no minimum or maximum limit in the second column.
2. Any team receiving all but two of the eligible votes in Column 1 is moved into the tournament field as an at-large selection.
3. The committee also forms an under-consideration board, an alphabetical listing of teams that:
a. Received at least three votes in either of the columns of the initial ballot but did not receive enough votes to be an at-large team; or
b. Won or shared the regular-season conference championship (as determined by the conference’s tie-break policy).
4. A team may be removed from the under-consideration board if it receives all but two eligible votes.
5. A team may be added to the under-consideration board if it receives at least three eligible votes.
6. Verbal nominations are permitted.
1. The committee then begins evaluating teams on the under-consideration board.
2. Each member selects the best eight teams from the under-consideration board to be added to the at-large field:
a. When 20 or more teams are under consideration, each member selects eight teams;
b. When 14 to 19 teams are under consideration, each member selects six teams;
c. When 13 or fewer teams are under consideration, each member selects four teams.
3. When 24 or fewer teams remain in the pool of teams, a member may not participate in “list X teams” votes if a team he or she represents as a commissioner or athletics director is included in the pool.
4. The eight teams receiving the most votes comprise the next at-large ballot.
5. Committee members then rank the eight teams, using a ranking scoring system (i.e., the best team is valued at one point).
6. The four teams receiving the fewest points are added to the at-large field. The other four teams are held for the next ballot.
7. Each committee member then submits a list of the best eight teams remaining on the under-consideration board to be added to the at-large field. The four teams with the highest vote totals are added to the teams carried over from No. 6 to comprise the next at-large ballot.
8. Step Nos. 5, 6 and 7 are repeated until all at-large berths are filled.
9. If a team fails to be included among the four teams receiving the fewest points (No. 6) for two consecutive rank ballots, it is returned to the under-consideration board.
10. At any time during the process, the number of teams eligible to receive votes may be increased or decreased by the committee chair if circumstances warrant. The chair has the option to revise the number of teams from four to two to be moved into at-large berths per No. 6.
11. A team may be removed from the at-large field by a vote of all but two of the eligible votes. If that happens, the team would be returned to the under-consideration board.
12. At any time during the process of selecting at-large teams, the committee may begin seeding the teams (Section II). This allows the committee to proceed while allowing time for results of games played during selection weekend.
II. SEEDING TEAMS
The committee creates a seed list (i.e. rank of the teams in true seeds 1 through 68) which reflects the relative qualitative assessment of the field in descending order, and is used to assess competitive balance of the top teams across the four regions of the championship. The seed list reflects the sequential order with which teams will be placed in the bracket. Once the seed list is finalized, it remains unchanged while the bracket is assembled.
Importantly, various principles may preclude a team from being placed in its true seed position in the bracket.
Procedures for Seeding
1. Each committee member submits a list of the best eight teams, in no particular order, from teams that are in the tournament as automatic qualifiers or at-large selections:
a. When 20 or more teams remain to be seeded, each member lists eight teams;
b. When 14 to 19 teams remain, each member lists six teams;
c. When 13 or fewer teams remain, each member lists four teams.
Note: When 24 or fewer teams remain to be seeded, a member may not participate in “list X teams” ballots if a team he or she represents as a commissioner or athletics director is included in the pool.
2. The eight teams receiving the most votes comprise the next seed list ballot.
3. Committee members rank the eight teams from No. 1, using a ranking scoring system (i.e., the best team is valued at one point).
4. The four teams receiving the fewest points are moved onto the seed list in ascending order of vote total. The other four teams are held for the next rank ballot.
5. Each committee member then submits a list of the best eight remaining teams that are in the tournament as automatic qualifiers or at-large selections. The four teams with the highest vote totals are added to the teams carried over from No. 4 to comprise the next seed list ballot.
6. Step Nos. 3, 4 and 5 are repeated until all the teams are seeded.
7. After a team has been voted into the seed list, it may be moved by a simple majority of eligible votes. This scrubbing of the seed list allows the committee to affirm true seed accuracy throughout selection weekend and ultimately, in the bracket.
8. The committee is not obligated to assemble the seed list in sequential order. For example, the committee may use the procedures to determine the fourth quadrant of teams at any time.
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