NCAA Selection Process

In preparation for the release of the latest regional rankings tomorrow, I did a bit more research on the NCAA Tournament selection process.  A quick Google search led me right to some great information, so it’s my duty to pass this along.

Each D-II sport has its own selection committee, which for most sports is broken down into Regional Advisory Committees (RACs).   I apologize for the NCAA’s poor choice of acronyms, and I take no responsibility for ensuing jokes.  This isn’t the first mistake the NCAA has made, at least.

Men’s basketball at the NCAA-DII level does have RACs for each of the eight regions.  Each RAC is chaired by that region’s member of the Selection Committee.  For the South Region, assistant GSC commissioner Michael Anderson is the RAC chairperson.  There are six other members of the South Region RAC, and they are:

  • David Gaines, LeMoyne-Owen College (SIAC)
  • Mike Madagan, Saint Leo University (SSC)
  • Carl McAloose, Florida Gulf Coast University (Ind.)
  • Charlie Schaef, Ouachita Baptist University (GSC)
  • Gary Tuell, Nova Southeastern University (SSC)
  • Fred Watson, Benedict College (SIAC)

Clearly the ones that matter most to GSC fans are Anderson and Schaef, who has a long-standing relationship with Coach Morgan.  This seems like a reasonable composition for the committee, and there are rules in place to help alleviate (though I won’t say prevent) corruption.  When a selection conference call is in session and a RAC member’s specific team comes up in the discussion, that committee member is to leave the call and be replaced by someone else until discussion of his/her team is complete.  Whether or not that actually happens is anyone’s guess, but it’s interesting that such a rule is in place.

Moving past the composition of the RAC, here are the selection criteria listed by the NCAA:

  1. Overall Division-II win-loss record
  2. Regional win-loss record
  3. Head-to-head competition
  4. Overall strength of schedule
  5. In-region strength of schedule
  6. Eligibility and availability of student-athletes for championships competition

Additionally, they list these “secondary” criteria:

  • Performance against Division-II teams above .500
  • Performance against Division-II teams below .500
  • Performance versus regionally-ranked teams in their region
  • Performance versus regionally-ranked teams in all regions
  • Common opponents

Other criteria for selection are that each team must play no more than 27 regular season games, including at least 16 in-region games.  A team must also reach .500 in order to be selected at-large.  There are 22 automatic berths, including one for each of the three South Region conferences (GSC, SSC, and SIAC), plus 42 at-large berths (5 for the South).

I got pretty much all of this information from the NCAA’s official site, which has a page for the D-II Men’s Basketball Committee.  I suggest reading the .pdf file linked at the bottom of that page for more detail on what I wrote about above.

This week’s regional rankings will be the fourth of seven weekly rankings (including the final tournament selection).  They’re supposed to be released around 5PM Eastern, and I’ll try to stay on top of it from here on out.  If they’re not online before I leave work, though, it may be Thursday before I can get to posting about it.  Tomorrow is Valentine’s Day, after all.  If you’re an impatient type like me, follow the link on the left nav bar to the site I’ll be monitoring.

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2 thoughts on “NCAA Selection Process

  1. I find it very surprising that, based on what you’ve said here, there apparently does not exist any such thing as a “D-II RPI.” (Or if it does exist, I find it surprising that the committee doesn’t use it.) Of course, the RPI is a ridiculously flawed rating system that has no basis in any sort of sensible statistical notion, but it’s still better than nothing. And since , when compared to D-I, D-II suffers from (1) less exposure and (2) an even more poorly-connected schedule, one could make a strong case that mathematical ratings are MORE useful for selecting the D-II tournament than they are for the D-I tournament.

  2. Yeah, I think an RPI-style formula would work well for D-II, but I’m not sure anyone in the administration really cares enough to implement such a thing. It’s unfortunate.

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