— NCAA March Madness (@marchmadness) January 24, 2017
I absolutely hate this idea. There are so many things I hate about it. But first, let me give a little more background on what is actually happening. The committee announced today that on February 11th, in a TV special, they will reveal their 1, 2, 3 and 4 seeds at that moment. The end of that last sentence is the most important part. It is as of February 11th. They also mentioned that they will strongly iterate to fans that there is still plenty of time left in the season and that things can and will change with these teams. Okay, let’s dive into my hatred for this move.
1) There will still be a month left in the season when this is revealed. That is a LOT of time for things to change. How quickly have we seen teams get hot or cool off to end February and begin March, and as a result, end up missing out on the tourney? Plenty.
2)This move reeks of desperation to be like college football. Don’t. College basketball is so unique and loved for that reason. The tournament is one of, if not, the most exciting sporting events each year. I think the selection show was an awesome idea at origination and even as it has become more commercialized (takes about an hour to name 68 teams) it still remains one of my favorite days of the year. CFB gives its weekly playoff rankings late in the season every Tuesday to show fans who is currently in the playoff. This move by CBB doesn’t make sense because we typically know the 16 best teams in the country already. That’s not the exciting or intriguing part. The part people care about is the pairing of teams.
3) Unlike football, games are played every single day in basketball, people forget that. Literally the minute after these seedings are read, they are out-of-date and irrelevant. The top 16 teams is rarely ever a point of contention, it is the next 16 as they are typically at-large or mid-major conference champs. Those seeds and teams are the reason people tune in. To see which bubble team makes it. Unless your alma mater or favorite team is a top ranked squad, no one really cares about the top seeds.
The silver lining in all of this is that the committee said that it would happen just this year (as of now). I know I shouldn’t jump to conclusions, but my gut reaction about this whole bit is that I hate it. I hope it is better than I think/expect it will be and that it becomes a staple year-in and year-out. Anything that can help build excitement and buzz around the game is good in my book.