The Ad Hoc Group recommended a change to this protocol, proposing that the RPI be replaced by a composite ranking of various advanced metrics. The composite would include both results-based metrics that judge teams based on wins and losses, and predictive metrics that judge teams based on criteria such as offensive/ defensive efficiency and scoring margin. In short, results-based metrics measure “best resume,” while predictive metrics measure “best team.” There have been some articles regarding the analytics discussions with the NCAA that there should be a rethinking of the cut lines of top-50, top-100, top-200, etc. What is the thinking behind this? Included in the Ad Hoc Group’s recommendation to reevaluate analytics was an observation that the current process undervalues road performance. Historically, wins against the RPI top-50 have been a common reference point for the committee to define quality wins. However, home wins over the top-50 and road wins over the top-50 were essentially treated as equals. The Ad Hoc Group felt that quality wins on the road should extend beyond the top50. For example, a quality win might be better defined as a home win over the top-50, neutral win over the top-75, or road win over the top100. One could even make the case that road conference wins should have an even broader definition of quality, given the difficulty of playing at league opponents. January’s analytics summit addressed this topic, and the NCAA plans to work alongside the Ad Hoc Group in determining the appropriate adjustments. How are these discussions taking place? Who is involved in these discussions? NCAA personnel led by Senior Vice President Dan Gavitt and Director of Media Coordination and Statistics Dave Worlock are working alongside NABC staff. There is also an eightmember working group – headed by Men’s Basketball Committee member Jim Schaus – that features four committee members and four Ad Hoc Group members (Phil Martelli, Ron Hunter, Mark Few and Bob Huggins.) These parties meet regularly via conference call, with the hope that
the composite ranking and the home/neutral/ road adjustments can be implemented for the 2017-18 season. What are your thoughts on the NCAA March Madness Bracket Preview Show? The NABC Ad Hoc Group recommended that there be such a show where the top 16 teams were identified as of the date of the airing of the bracket preview show. The recommendation included that the show needed to be televised with the appropriate presentation commensurate with the prestige of the men’s basketball championship and the Final Four. With CBS airing the show and Greg Gumbel, Clark Kellogg and Seth Davis being the talent on the show, I believe that high level presentation was achieved. Obviously, there are many “experts” providing their insights into who the best teams are in the country and who should be in the 68-team field. The Ad Hoc Group believed that a show reflecting the thoughts of the Men’s Basketball Committee, the committee whose decisions really matter, as of a date in early February with a month or more of the regular season and conference tournaments left to be played would be insightful. The Ad Hoc Group did not favor the Basketball Committee projecting the entire tournament field believing it would not be in the best interest of studentathletes and coaches who are competing to make the tournament as an at-large team or as an automatic qualifier. Any final thoughts? There is a real collaboration involving the NCAA Men’s Basketball Committee, the NABC and the NABC’s Ad Hoc Group on working together for the best interests of the student-athletes, coaches and the game. We believe we are making meaningful progress and look forward to the future recommendations that will come forth from this collaboration.