With Single City Location, NCAA Changes Its Seeding Formula For March Madness

Now that this year’s NCAA March Madness is set to play every game in Indiana, the Division I Mens’s Basketball Committee is changing its bracket set up. Instead of allowing proximity to the play site determine seeding, the seeding will follow an “S-curve” method.

With the current restrictions on fan attendance, there’s no real reason to worry about fan travel. This is probably the right move.

In a normal year, the No. 1 overall seed wouldn’t be grouped “regionally” with the No. 2 or 3 seeds. Geographic proximity would normally play a major role in bracket placement, but now it’s no longer a factor.

Long story short: March Madness is about to be insanity.

NCAA senior vice president Dan Gavitt shared his thoughts:

“As the committee discussed this topic, it became clear that the S-curve bracketing option makes the most sense, given the unique circumstances with which this tournament will be played,” Gavitt said in his release. β€œIn a normal year, bracketing is done with consideration given to keeping as many teams as close to their campus as possible, reducing team travel and providing as many fans as possible an opportunity to watch their favorite teams participate in The Big Dance. But this year only, with the entire tournament being played in Indiana, the committee believes this different approach is optimal.”

The NCAA plans to hold the same 68-team tournament per usual, which begins on Selection Sunday March 14 with the national title game April 5.

Turns out the games will be played at multiple venues in Indianapolis that are just a short drive from one another.

Here’s the full S-curve method

  • Top four team selected from a conference will be placed in different regions if they’re seeded in the first four lines.
  • Teams from the same conference will not meet before the regional final if they played each other three or more times in the regular season, including the conference tournament.
  • Teams from the same conference will not play before the conference semifinals if they played each other twice in the regular season, including the conference tournament.
  • Teams from the same conference may play each other as early as the second round if they played no more than once in the regular season, including the conference tournament.
  • If possible, rematches of nonconference regular-season games should be avoided in the First Four and first round.

The NCAA needs the most competitive March Madness possible with the absence of fans. Without them, matchups further in the tournament will heavily effect their profits more than ever. Frustrating to see changes to anything about college hoops, but this one makes sense.

Written by Gary Sheffield, Jr

Gary Sheffield Jr is the son of should-be MLB Hall of Famer, Gary Sheffield. He covers basketball and baseball for OutKick.com, chats with the Purple and Gold faithful on LakersNation, and shitposts on Twitter. You can follow him at GarySheffieldJr

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