FROM THE EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR, Jim Haney
Q&A with Executive Director Jim Haney NCAA, NABC and NABC Ad Hoc Group Collaborating on Tournament Selection, Seeding and Bracketing Study
The NABC Foundation Court of Honor Gala is honoring Mike Krzyzewski. Save-the-date cards have been sent out. What can you share about that Gala? This event to honor Coach K is focused on his 11 years as national coach of USA Basketball’s Senior National Team. He is the only men’s head coach in Olympic history to lead teams to gold medals in three Olympic Games. The fact that he did so is also special because Mike, as a college coach, was selected to coach NBA players in the aftermath of a series of less than successful efforts by previous USA Basketball teams to win at the World Championships and Olympic Games. It is my hope that another college coach has the opportunity to be a head coach on our senior national team but Coach K was the first. His success represented all collegiate coaches and brought added respect to our collegiate game. The Gala will be held in New York City June 21 to celebrate his success as national coach but also USA Basketball and its success during his years as head coach. It will be a special evening. We encourage our NABC coaches to attend. Additional information can be found on the Gala website, www.courtofhonorgala.com. There has been media attention paid to the recommendations of the NABC Ad Hoc Group on Selection, Seeding and Bracketing of the NCAA Men’s basketball championship. What can you share regarding the Ad Hoc Group’s recommendations? The Ad Hoc Group initially made 10 recommendations to the NCAA Division I Men’s Basketball committee in early July, 2016.
The members of the committee were quite gracious in receiving those recommendations and charted a course of action to address many of the proposals during the 2016-17 academic year. It is important to add that the Ad Hoc Group acknowledged the vital role the committee has played and continues to play in growing the popularity of men’s college basketball and specifically the NCAA Men’s Basketball Championship. The Ad Hoc Group believed its proposals would enhance what is already an outstanding event. Among the Ad Hoc Group’s recommendations was a proposal for the committee to reevaluate its use of advanced metrics during the selection and seeding process. The NCAA recently held an “analytics summit” in Indianapolis that brought together Ken Pomeroy of KenPom.com, Jeff Sagarin of USA Today, Kevin Pauga of KPIsports. net, Ben Alamar of ESPN’s analytics department, Jerry Palm of CBS Sports, Mike Decourcy of The Sporting News, and Andy Glockner, author of the analytics book ‘Chasing Perfection’. NABC staff member Eric Wieberg represented the NABC and the Ad Hoc Group at the meeting. To better understand the challenge these experts were addressing, we must first provide some context as to how the committee uses analytics now. The RPI rating has been used by the NCAA since 1981. While the RPI is not the sole evaluation tool utilized to select and seed teams, it is the only metric currently used when sorting data and results on teams’ resumes. For example, RPI is used to determine criteria such as top-50 wins and strength of schedule. More advanced metrics are available to the committee, but only the RPI has historically been visible on the official ‘Team Sheets.’