Make the NCAA tournament selection process fair for teams of ALL conferences
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We believe that the NCAA tournament selection process is unfair. There are multiple teams from "mid-major" conferences who, we believe, deserved a spot in the NCAA tournament but were unable because they did not win their conference championships. However, 60% of both the SEC and ACC conferences received bids. While we know that these conferences are strong, it is unfair for over half of a conference to be playing in the National tournament. Five of the selected teams from "Power 5" conferences have losing records. How can a team with a losing record be considered for a spot to win a National Championship? It is said that selection is based on the strength of schedule and who you beat, but how can mid-majors win these big games against teams from the power conferences if they are not given the opportunity to schedule these games.
There have been several suggestions circulating about ways to improve the selection process. Some examples:
1. There are 32 teams in D1 NCAA. Give the regular season conference champions and the post-season conference champions both a bid to the NCAA tournament, leaving 4 at-large spots, and any crossover between regular-season and post-season champions turns into an at-large bid for another deserving team. Teams with a losing record should not be considered.
2 RPI consideration should either be done away with or non-conference schedule be balanced to require home/away mandates to be met. Teams like Syracuse won't leave New York, Duke and UK won't play true road games with mid-majors. This causes mid-major teams to only be able to get lower tier Power-5 conference teams to play them.
3. Give the top 5 teams in Power-5 conferences automatic bids. Give an automatic bid to the regular season champs for each conference, and then the conference tournaments decide if any other schools will receive bids. If there are remaining bids after this, they become at-large.
Whatever the solution may be, something needs to be done. Just because "mid-major" teams can't schedule Power-5 opponents all season should not deter a good NCAA tournament team from competing. How many teams are being blocked from their chance of having an amazing tournament run, like the George Mason team of 2006 pictured above, because of an unfair selection?
Ultimately, this selection process blocks mid-major conferences from the financial gain that comes from an NCAA experience as well. The increased national exposure increases potential enrollment application and continued athletic competition for deserving athletes.
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