Men's Final Four

Men's Basketball Selections 101 - Selections

Selection Criteria

The NCAA Evaluation Tool, known as the NET, is in its second year of existence and is one of many factors used by NCAA sports committees when evaluating team selection, seeding and bracketing.

The components of the NET include the Team Value Index, which is based on game results and factors game location, the opponent and outcome, as well as net efficiency, winning percentage, adjusted winning percentage and a capped scoring margin.

Other criteria the committee considers in the selections process:

  • 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 nonconference strength of schedule.
  • The quality of wins and losses.
  • Road record.
  • Player and coach availability.
  • Various computer metrics.

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 teams sorted by quadrants and results.

Starting with the 2017-18 season, the team sheets took on a new look. They now not only include each team’s NET, 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

Seeding

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 automatic qualifiers. 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.

Men's Basketball Selections 101 - Committee

Meet the Committee

Mitch Barnhart
Division I Men’s Basketball Committee chair and director of athletics at University of Kentucky

Other Committee Members Include:

  • Mike Bobinski, vice president and director of athletics, Purdue University
  • Tom Burnett, commissioner, Southland Conference
  • Lawrence R. Cunningham, director of athletics, University of North Carolina
  • Charles McClelland, commissioner, Southwestern Athletic Conference
  • Bernadette McGlade, commissioner, Atlantic 10 Conference
  • Michael O’Brien, vice president and director of athletics, University of Toledo
  • Jamie Pollard, director of athletics, Iowa State University
  • Chris Reynolds, vice president for intercollegiate athletics, Bradley University
  • Craig Thompson, commissioner, Mountain West Conference

What's the Committee's Role?

The 10-member NCAA Division I Men's Basketball Committee is responsible for selecting, seeding and bracketing the field for the NCAA tournament. School and conference administrators are nominated by their conference, serve five-year terms and represent a cross-section of the Division I membership.

Committee members spend countless hours evaluating teams during the regular season. They are expected to be experts on the teams within their assigned conferences while maintaining a broad-based knowledge of Division I basketball.

Timeline

November

The committee gathers and begins discussions for the upcoming basketball season. Conferences are divided among committee members so they can focus on monitoring assigned teams throughout the season. Committee members, with the exception of the chair, have approximately seven conferences each for which they serve as the primary or secondary monitor.

Mid-February

The committee heads to Indianapolis a month before the real selection to go through a selection orientation process, which includes a scaled-down selection and seeding process, as well as a bracketing exercise. This helps new committee members get a feel for what will happen in March.

2021 is the fifth year for the March Madness Bracket Preview show. This preview reveals the committee’s picks for the top 16 seeds, identifying the top four teams in each region as they stand as of the airing of the show.

Tuesday Before Selection Sunday

The committee arrives in Indianapolis for the beginning of the selection process. For the next five days, the 10 committee members will cast hundreds of ballots and engage in debate over dozens of teams until the final bracket of 68 is released on Selection Sunday.

Men's Basketball Selections 101

How Does the NCAA Pick the Teams?

How March Madness selections are made is always on the minds of sports fans at tournament time. Here is a chance to look behind the curtain to see how the bracket for the Division I Men’s Basketball Championship is built.

2021 March Madness Timeline

Selection Sunday
6 p.m. Eastern time March 14 on CBS

First Four
First Four play will start at Thursday, March 18, at Mackey Arena and Simon Skjodt Assembly Hall.

First Round
First round play will take place Friday, March 19, and Saturday, March 20. The games will be played in Mackey Arena, Simon Skjodt Assembly Hall, Bankers Life Fieldhouse, Hinkle Fieldhouse, Indiana Farmers Coliseum, Lucas Oil Stadium.

Second Round
Second round play will take place Sunday, March 21, and Monday, March 22. The venues for this round will be Bankers Life Fieldhouse, Hinkle Fieldhouse, Indiana Farmers Coliseum, Lucas Oil Stadium.

Sweet 16
The Sweet 16 round will be played Saturday, March 27, and Sunday, March 28. Bankers Life Fieldhouse and Hinkle Fieldhouse will be utilized for these games.

Elite 8
The Elite Eight will be played Monday, March 29, and Tuesday, March 30 in Lucas Oil Stadium.

Final Four
The Final Four will be played Saturday, April 3, and the championship game will take place Monday, April 5. All three games will take place at Lucas Oil Stadium.

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