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Ten Selection Sunday Myths You Should Know About

What does Napoleon’s short stature, bats being blind, and the NCAA’s tournament selection committee relying solely on a team’s RPI have in common? They’re all myths.

But, since nobody really cares about Napoleon’s height or bats being blind, at least not anything that has to do with March Madness, then it’s the RPI that really should concern you. Here are 10 Selection Sunday myths for you to chew on.

  1. The selection committee lives and dies by the RPI.

While it’s true the RPI is important, it’s not the only piece of information the committee uses, or has access to, to make its selections.

In fact, with so much information that’s available these days on teams, the RPI may not even be used that much. There’s much more to picking the 68 teams than what you may think.

  1. The conference a team belongs to is paramount.

When it comes down to making the selections, the committee doesn’t really take a look at a team’s conference affiliation. Teams are viewed as standalone, neither RPI nor affiliation sway the committee’s selections.

  1. What happened last year, as far how many teams a conference had playing in the tournament, influences how many teams that conference will have in this year’s tourney.

Not quite. How a team did or how many teams a conference had in past tournaments has nothing to do with selections. While it’s true there are some conferences that traditionally do well in March Madness, they don’t have any advantage over any other team when the action starts.

The selections have do to with team performance in the current 17/18 season through some 30 games. It doesn’t matter how many All-Americans you have, your coach, or what tournaments you’ve won, it’s all for grabs.

  1. The committee is committed to making people pull their hair out when it comes to setting up matchups.

While some early-round matchups leave much to the imagination of conspiracy theorists, committee members don’t get to see the matchups before the brackets are done. There’s really no time or thought going into it.

  1. Media moguls get a say into bracket selections

Selections are made in as much secrecy as when cardinals pick a new pope (somewhat). Media outlets get a glimpse of the room when the committee is making selections, but they don’t get to record the selections. Only the committee and NCAA staffers are in the room when selections, seeding, and bracketing are being made.

  1. Selections are made on a handshake through some shady dealings.

FBI investigations into college basketball notwithstanding, when the voting gets underway everything is kept under wraps to avoid any conflict – of interest or otherwise. While athletics directors or coaching staff may answer broad questions about teams they directly represent, they can’t get into the conversation when voting, seeding, or selection takes place on those teams.

  1.  Selections are swayed by what’s seen on TV

There’s a mountain of information available to the committee; maybe too much, in fact. Committee members are literally drowned in the information they have on teams: game summaries, scores, computer rankings, simulations, player and coach stats, rankings, polls…you name it and they probably have access to it. But, even so, when they’re meeting, they probably only have access to the occasional game update.

  1. What happens in the couple of weeks before Selection Sunday is what really matters because, who can really remember what happened past two weeks’ time?

While there’s reason to argue that whatever happened in the couple of weeks prior to Selection Sunday is fresh on everyone’s mind, there’s a whole season behind a team’s performance that goes into the selections. In theory, the committee focuses on many things such as home and road games and non-conference games that may have taken place way before the couple of weeks prior to the selection process.

  1. Bubble teams that have complained in the past can forget about being selected, even if there’s reason to believe a team should have been selected.

The name of the game nowadays is social media, the world’s greatest platform where everybody and their uncles have an opinion. Selections, in principle, are made on a team’s merits by a group of 10 people that have access to a ton of info and not because some Joe Blow went on a Twitter rant à la Trump.

  1. Get 20 wins and you’ve found Willy Wonka’s Golden Ticket into the tournament.

When you think about it, if 20 wins was the magic number to get into the tourney you’d have way more teams than 68 competing. If every team that won 20 games got into the selection process or automatically punch your ticket into the Big Dance, it’d be even a bigger quagmire to make selections.

Even teams that have a winning conference record don’t get automatically picked because it just wouldn’t be fair without looking into their schedules and who they beat and how.

So there you have them, 10 Selection Sunday myths. BTW bats can see just as well as you or I (they hear better, too); how do you like them apples?