NCAA tournament committee considering early seeding reveal
The committee who selects and seeds the NCAA tournament is considering releasing certain seeding information prior to Selection Sunday, Dan Gavitt, the NCAA vice president of men's basketball championships, told USA TODAY.
Gavitt said when the committee met last week to select future tournament site cities, it also discussed the possibility of giving early looks at parts of the bracket, but not the full thing.
"There was some discussion of four (one seeds) or sixteen (total seeds), the top four seeds in the four regions," he said. "The way the committee left it was, we'll discuss it again (at meetings) in January. There wasn't enough time to fully vet it. But I'd say there's certainly some consideration being given to it."
The men's basketball committee has seen the success of the inaugural College Football Playoff, which has released a Top 25 seeding on ESPN every Tuesday since Oct. 28, and has talked about how men's basketball could learn from that model.
"We did talk about it and certainly have been monitoring what the football committee has been doing," said Gavitt. "Even going back to last year, before football started doing what they're doing, we had some ideas of possibly taking more steps with what I think has been a real good effort over the years in transparency in the process — additional things we could do in that regard, but also possibly take advantage, as the football committee has, of the promotional/marketing value of that as well."
Gavitt said that while there's no present commitment to it, an early basketball reveal could happen as soon as this season. He suggested February as a time that would be good to begin releasing information.
He also believes releasing where the top seeds stand early could create better communication concerning the likeliness of teams getting a No. 1 seed when the bracket is officially released.
"Some of the reaction the last couple of years of teams being surprised where they were seeded … that's where the thought process started for me," Gavitt said. "Are there things we can do that would better communicate what's the likeliness?"
The 2015 NCAA tournament begins on March 17, 2015.
- Molly Geary