NCAA Tournament Projections As of Feb. 22

There are many myths involving how the Men’s NCAA Division I Basketball Committee puts together the bracket each year. With less than three weeks until Selection Sunday, I thought this would be a great time to address a few of the most common ones.

MYTH: The Committee Puts Together Matchups for TV Ratings

This is the one I hear the most. First, the committee does not predetermine the first-round matchups, but instead follows the bracketing procedures already set in place. I can personally speak to this with two examples.

I attended the NCAA’s 2015 “Mock Selection” exercise. Several of my fellow members came into the process believing that the NCAA Tournament matchups were put together outside of the official process, but when our bracket was finalized the number of “I had no idea we matched those two teams up!” comments said it all.

This even happened a couple of weeks ago in my own bracket when I had Drake, coached by former Creighton assistant Darian DeVries, playing the Bluejays. I had no idea this matchup was in the bracket until someone pointed it out on Twitter.

MYTH: The Bluebloods Get the Easiest Draws

No team is given an easier path to the Final Four than any other program. Sometimes it might appear that a team is in an easier region than another, but this is just a coincidence. The reality is that the committee has a certain set of procedures that must be followed.

One protocol that often comes into play is two teams from the same conference can not meet until the regional semifinals. To accomplish this, schools must be moved to different regions, which may give the appearance of an easier draw. Even though regional balance is a goal of the committee, it’s not always a perfect science.

MYTH: Mid-Majors Play Each Other in the First Round So More Power Conference Teams Can Advance

There is a simple explanation as to why it seems this scenario occurs: Mid-majors often fall in the 7-10 seed line range. When you have a handful of these teams spread over just a few seed lines, it’s a high possibility that these schools will be matched up against one another.

This season, I’m very excited about the new Bracketology by TKBrackets podcast. On each episode we will take a look at the most recent bracket and highlight teams that have made moves. We will also have guests on like the top bracketologists in the country, NCAA staff members who help put the official bracket together, former selection committee members and the biggest names in college basketball.

Check out the latest podcast and get caught up on all the past episodes right here at Buzzsprout or anywhere you go to listen to podcasts.

LAST FOUR IN:  Stanford, UNC, Indiana, Drake
FIRST FOUR OUT:  UConn, Seton Hall, St. Bonaventure, Utah State
NEXT FOUR OUT:  Duke, St. John’s, Ole Miss, Georgia Tech

Big Ten: 10
Big 12: 7
SEC: 6
ACC: 6
Pac-12: 5
MW: 3
Big East: 3
MVC: 2
WCC: 2
C-USA: 2
AAC: 2