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Men's Basketball Selections 101 - Selections

Selection Criteria

The Rating Percentage Index (RPI) is one of many factors used by NCAA sports committees when evaluating team selection, seeding and bracketing.

The basic RPI consists of a team’s Division I winning percentage (25 percent weight), its opponents’ winning percentage (50 percent weight) and its opponents opponents’ winning percentage (25 percent weight). The RPI is one of many factors the committees use for selecting and seeding teams.

Other criteria the committee considers in the selections process are: 

  • An extensive season-long evaluation of teams through watching games, conference monitoring calls and regional advisory committee rankings;
  • Complete box scores and results;
  • Head-to-head results and results versus common opponents;
  • Imbalanced conference schedules and results;
  • Overall and non-conference strength of schedule;
  • The quality of wins and losses;
  • Road record;
  • Player and coach availability; and
  • Various computer metrics.

Each of the 10 committee members uses these various resources to form his or her own opinion, resulting in the committee’s consensus position on selection and seeding.

Team Sheets

The committee often refers to "team sheets" when comparing team performance. The team sheets contain in-depth team information about strength of schedule, performance against top-50 teams and home/road records. 

Starting with the 2017-18 season, the team sheets took on a new look. They now not only include each team’s RPI, but also include a team’s ranking in five other metrics: the ESPN strength of record and BPI rankings, as well as the KPI, KenPom and Sagarin rankings. In addition, a team’s schedule and results are now broken down in four quadrants that place greater emphasis on games played on neutral courts and in true road environments. The quadrant breakdown is as follows:

  • Quadrant 1: Home 1-30; Neutral 1-50; Away 1-75
  • Quadrant 2: Home 31-75; Neutral 51-100; Away 76-135
  • Quadrant 3: Home 76-160; Neutral 101-200; Away 136-240
  • Quadrant 4: Home 161-plus; Neutral 201-plus; Away 241-plus.

Download team sheets


The committee creates a seed list 1 through 68 -- which is used to assess competitive balance of the top teams across the four regions of this national championship. Additionally, the seed list reflects the sequential order with which teams will be placed in the bracket.

Automatic Qualifiers: A total of 32 conferences will place an automatic qualifier in the NCAA tournament field. These qualifiers are determined by conference tournaments.

At-Large: With the tournament field of 68, there are 36 at-large spots after the AQs. The committee selects the 36 best teams to fill the at-large berths. There is no limit on the number of at-large teams the committee may select from one conference.


Did You Know?

There's no limit to the number of teams from a conference that can be selected for participation in the tourney.
Team performance in past years does not impact the current year's value as as an at-large candidate.
A late season/conference tournament injury to a key player could impact a team's seed.

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