Sleep did not bring clarity to the tournament selections. Here are a
couple of selection theories that the committee has historically used,
and some questions that arise assuming each was employed:
Theory 1: The regular season conference record means more than a
conference tournament. Okay, this theory would explain why Wake Forest
ended up a 2 seed despite being bounced from the ACC Tournament by
bubble team NC State in the second round. But then, why is Kansas, who
won the Big 12 regular season title despite playing in arguably the most
top-heavy conference (see Texas and Oklahoma), a number 2, while Texas
and Oklahoma are 1's? Heck, Texas didn't even win the conference
tournament! How can they be a 1 seed? In the weakest regional? And
Boston College, who won their division of the Big East, doesn't even
make it to the Dance? What gives?
Theory 2: How a team is playing at the end of the year is an important
factor in seeding. This would seem to be borne out in the fact that
Maryland, who finished tied for second in the ACC regular season but
lost its last two games, ended up a 6 seed. But then how did Florida,
who lost its last three games, end up a 2 seed?
Theory 3: The non-conference schedule is important in determining who
gets in. Well, if that's true, what about Auburn? They had one of the
weakest non-conference schedules around, and STILL managed to lose to a
couple of teams so far down in the RPI as to be invisible. Meanwhile,
Seton Hall, which loaded it up against the likes of Texas and
Louisville, misses the call.
Theory 4: Use the RPI to determine entry and seeding. Well, that works
for the top four seeds. But how do you justify Florida as a 2, when
their RPI puts them at 11? And Auburn's RPI is below that of Seton Hall.
Theory 5: The conference tournaments are the best indication of how
teams will play in the NCAA's. Works for Kentucky and Oklahoma, but how
about for Duke, who won the ACC Tournament, finished with the top
AP/ESPN ranking in the ACC, and is a 3 seed, behind Wake Forest?
Theory 6: Use a combination of all these factors. Okay. I get Kentucky,
Arizona, Oklahoma, Kansas as 1's; Texas, Pittsburgh, Duke, Wake Forest
as 2's; Illinois, Marquette, Louisville, Syracuse as 3's. Florida is the
Brad Davis is an alumnus of Duke University, Class of 1983, and currently lives in Hillsborough.