NCAA to Stop Ignoring First 20 Games of College Hoops in Tournament Selection

The early portion of the season in college hoops often gives us some of the best games you'll see all year. Sure, you get the traditional rivalries in conference play, but those made-for-TV classics in December? Sometimes it's just enough to temporarily divert your attention from college football bowl hysteria and late-season NFL action. It's just too bad the games haven't counted for a long time. ↵

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↵2009 NCAA selection committee chairman Mike Slive ↵

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↵OK, let me rephrase: It's too bad those mega-games weren't valued the same way that late-season games were during recent seasons by the NCAA selection committee. Starting next season, that changes: ↵

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↵⇥The Division I Men's Basketball Committee has decided to no longer consider the results of a team's last 12 games as one of the tools available in the selection criteria for the 2009-10 season. ↵⇥

↵⇥While the basketball committee uses several variables when it comes to selecting the 34 at-large teams that are placed into the bracket each March, its members concluded that college basketball stakeholders were confused by the last 12 games being part of the process. ↵⇥

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↵⇥"As the committee continues to hone its message regarding how it views the season, parsing a particular segment of games and implying it had greater weight than others seemed misleading and inconsistent," said committee chair and Southeastern Conference Commissioner Mike Slive. "The removal of this reference avoids confusion in the room and brings our reporting in line with our process." ↵⇥

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↵What does it mean? It means if Mid-Major University defeats Big State U. during December, that win won't be overshadowed by, say, the fact that MMU lost three games late in a scrappy mid-major league late in the season. ↵

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↵How many times in recent years have we watched a team perceived to be on the bubble make a ridiculous leap up the seed lines with a spirited conference tournament run? I'm looking at you, 2006 Syracuse Orangemen. ↵

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↵So a tip of the cap to the NCAA for getting this one right. It makes me almost as excited as the new block/charge rules. Wait, they're not painting a semi-circle on the floor? Oh no. ↵

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This post originally appeared on the Sporting Blog. For more, see The Sporting Blog Archives.

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