Its time for the second annual Moore’s Recommended Primer to the NCAA Selection Committee. Had the NCAA committee used my primer last season, they wouldn't have been under such scrutiny. This year they have even more difficult decisions than they did last year, so guys take note of the primer!
I will follow this up with a posting with selecting bubble teams based on this primer.
Here are the 10 rules for the Recommended Primer.
Rule #1 - Do not reward mediocrity in major conferences. This means if you are an 8-8 or 9-7 team and you lose your first round or quarterfinal games, no matter how tough the league is, you are not a good team and not worthy of a bid to the NCAA tournament. I am tired of hearing "Well the Big Ten is a really tough league, its unfair to exclude such and such because of it". Balderdash. If you are .500 or slightly above .500 and you can't win a first round game in your own conference, what makes you or the committee think you are going to win a first round NCAA tournament game.
Rule #2 - If you are a major conference bubble team, a bad untimely loss at the end of the season equals or outweighs any one good sole win. Simply put, if you are a bubble team with a lack of big wins over quality opponents, outside of one quality win under your belt, a bad loss at the end of the season in the Committee's eyes should equal or outweigh that sole good win.
Rule #3 - If you are a mid major or non major conference team and you lose in your quarterfinal round, you should be for the most part out of the tournament selection bid. Mid major teams must get to at least the conference semis to be considered worthy of a tournament selection bid. If you can't beat a low seed in the quarterfinals of your own tournament, what makes the committee think you can win a first round NCAA tournament game.
Rule #4 - If you are a bubble team, a bad loss to one of your fellow bubble teams during the year may be used against you. Simply put, when two teams are on relatively equal bubble footing, an earlier game in the year between the two, especially a bad loss at home for one of the teams, can make a difference.
Rule #5 - Do NOT have a bad losing record down the stretch. The committee looks very closely at how you did the last 9-10 games of the season. If you are a bubble team and lose a significant majority of your games including a first round or quarterfinal game in your tournament, you should not make the tournament.
Rule #6 - Do NOT have a significantly bad record on the road or at neutral sites. The committee is not very fond of bubble teams that have bad road/neutral site records, i.e. records significantly under .500. Committee members want to see how you do in hostile environments and a sub .500 road/neutral site record is indicative of a team not worthy of a tournament bid.
Rule #7 - Strength of Schedule doesn't matter. What you do with your strength of schedule matters - All you hear often, "Yeah we might be .500 in conference, but take a look at our strength of schedule (SOS)." No that's not what matters. How you did in those strength of schedule games matters. If you have the best SOS in the country and you lost just about all of those tough games, you are not a good team and not worthy of consideration.
Rule #8 - When considering two teams from the same conference for one bubble spot, head to head record should be considered heavily when it favors one team over the other. Every once in a while you have two teams from the same conference fighting for the same bubble spot. Often the easiest determination is head to head. If one team won the season series, especially convincingly from the other, that should be a determining factor in the decision.
Rule #9 - If two bubble teams are from the same conference, records against other top teams in the conference should be used as a determining factor. So for example if there are four quality teams in the conference and a couple of them are on the bubble, compare their records against the other top teams in the conference.
Rule #10 - When all else fails, use the RPI, which the committee is supposed to use as a determining factor in deciding a team's fate. The RPI takes many of these other rule factors into account and if a league like the Patriot League uses RPI as the tiebreaking rule between teams that split a season series, others should follow suit.
I believe that if a team fails in three of my ten rules, the team should not be allowed into the tournament.