NCAA selection committee starts work with new ranking system


RALEIGH, N.C. (AP) — The selection committee that chooses the NCAA Tournament field is getting its first use of a new rankings formula that uses factors such as offensive and defensive efficiency when evaluating teams.

The committee is holding orientation meetings this week in Indianapolis. The work includes using the NCAA Evaluation Tool (NET) rankings to help choose the top 16 seeds to this point ahead of a Saturday reveal, which comes about a month from Selection Sunday on March 17.

“The main thing about this tool is it’s current,” committee chairman Bernard Muir said Wednesday during a teleconference with reporters. “We want to remain current. Over the years, I’m sure future committees will continue to look at the tool . For right now, we feel like this is a great first start and we’ll see in the offseason whether we need to review the tool at all.”

The NCAA announced in August that it was moving to the more analytical NET incorporating factors such as game results, strength of schedule, game location, scoring margin and net efficiency at both ends of the court. That came after using the RPI since 1981, which focused on winning percentage, strength of schedule and opponent’s strength of schedule.

Still, there’s a feeling-out process with the change.

Watch: Tucker Carlson Says Election '100% Stolen' from Trump, Breaks Down How it Happened

For example, NET caps victory margin at 10 points to avoid teams running up the score. And Virginia Tech coach Buzz Williams said after his No. 11 Hokies lost Monday to No. 16 Louisville that the rankings formula was one reason he called a timeout down 11 with 21 seconds left.

The Hokies got a late 3-pointer to fall 72-64.

“According to all the research I’ve found, if you win by 10 or more, that helps,” Williams said. “If you lose by 10 or more, that hurts. So 21 seconds left, you’ll see a lot of that. It’s been going on. I think it’s just now kind of coming to the surface. … The basket at the end, it was in a losing effort, but decimal points maybe it matters even though we don’t know the formula.

“But some of the smart people are hinting that it does matter.”

Muir, Stanford’s athletics director, said the committee has “heard some coaches express some concern” but said one possession wouldn’t have that significant of an impact.

“It’s a new tool, something that will probably be tweaked down the road,” Muir said, “not sure how soon that will be.”

SORTING OUT: Muir heard the criticism that followed the first NET rankings in November with Ohio State — ranked No. 16 in the AP Top 25 at the time — as No. 1. This week’s NET is led by Virginia, Gonzaga, Gonzaga, Duke and Tennessee. “We also knew as part of this new NET, as time went on … that it’s starting to sort itself out,” Muir said.

THE TOP LINES: Muir said the committee is “pretty much” certain which teams will fill the lines for 1- and 2-seeds in Saturday’s reveal of the top four seeds in each of four regions. While only the top 16 will be revealed, he said the committee will go as far as seeding teams 1 through 24.

PREDICTABLE: Muir said 15 of 16 teams from the February 2017 reveal were still in the top 16 that March. Last year 13 of 16 teams stayed in that top group, with Muir noting two that fell out ended up as No. 5 seeds.

First Republican Senator Jumps Into Race to Replace Mitch McConnell


More AP college basketball: and


Follow Aaron Beard on Twitter at

The Western Journal has not reviewed this Associated Press story prior to publication. Therefore, it may contain editorial bias or may in some other way not meet our normal editorial standards. It is provided to our readers as a service from The Western Journal.

Truth and Accuracy

Submit a Correction →

We are committed to truth and accuracy in all of our journalism. Read our editorial standards.

The Associated Press is an independent, not-for-profit news cooperative headquartered in New York City. Their teams in over 100 countries tell the world’s stories, from breaking news to investigative reporting. They provide content and services to help engage audiences worldwide, working with companies of all types, from broadcasters to brands. Photo credit: @AP on Twitter
The Associated Press was the first private sector organization in the U.S. to operate on a national scale. Over the past 170 years, they have been first to inform the world of many of history's most important moments, from the assassination of Abraham Lincoln and the bombing of Pearl Harbor to the fall of the Shah of Iran and the death of Pope John Paul.

Today, they operate in 263 locations in more than 100 countries relaying breaking news, covering war and conflict and producing enterprise reports that tell the world's stories.
New York City