The Syracuse Orange men’s basketball team will gather at the Carmelo K. Anthony Center today for practice and will learn its post-season fate shortly thereafter just like the rest of us. CBS will air the selection show and this year it won’t reveal teams in alphabetical order like it did last year. Instead, the process will revert to the style of previous years where the bracket is revealed by region (for the better).
With that in mind, we took a dive on everything Syracuse fans should know ahead of Selection Sunday, the bracket and seeding process and how that relates to the Orange in jokes and garbage form.
What’s Selection Sunday?
Wait, really? You mean to tell me you read Nunes Magician dot com 365 days a year and you don’t know what Selection Sunday is? Your fan-hood is in serious question.
But no, Selection Sunday is the Christmas Day equivalent for all college basketball fans and for us here, today is the day Syracuse basketball learns its post-season fate. The NCAA Tournament selection committee gathers and determines the bracket as well as the seed lines of all 68 teams set to compete in the NCAA Tournament.
CBS will air the one hour show starting at 6 p.m. ET from its New York studio. Selection Committee Chair Bernard Muir will do a sit down for a live interview to talk about the bracket and likely disclose part of the methodology for seeding.
Is Syracuse dancing?
By and large, Syracuse is widely expected to be given an at-large berth into the tournament. According to bracket matrix — which takes the average seed line of 124 bracket projections — Syracuse is most likely to land on the No. 9 or No. 10 seed line. Syracuse is currently projected to be in by all 124 bracketologists.
How are teams selected?
The NCAA Tournament selection committee has the final and only say of who is selected and how seeding is determined. All these bracketologists and media folks (hey, that’s us) have absolutely no say in the selection process. We’re all just a bunch of meaningless talking heads when you think about it!
There are 32 conferences across the country and 353 Division I men’s basketball teams that compete for 68 spots in the NCAA Tournament. Teams who win their conference tournament qualify for a tournament bid automatically. The selection committee then selects the 36 best at-large teams after the 32 conference tournament winners (automatic qualifiers, or auto-bids) are decided.
How is seeding determined?
The selection committee has a number of tools at their disposal to seed teams within the bracket. Chief among them is the new NCAA evaluation tool or NET for short which has replaced the RPI. The NET is a sorting tool to rank teams — although its formula has yet to be fully disclosed — and the NET also sorts wins and losses based on quadrants. The quadrant system listed below ranks résumé wins and losses from the highest (one) to the lowest (four).
- Quadrant 1: Home 1-30, Neutral 1-50, Away 1-75
- Quadrant 2: Home 31-75, Neutral 51-100, Away 76-135
- Quadrant 3: Home 76-160, Neutral 101-200, Away 135-240
- Quadrant 4: Home 161-353, Neutral 201-353, Away 241-353
The selection committee doesn’t just consider NET rankings and team wins/losses by quadrants though. It will also utilize metrics such as KenPom, BPI, Sagarin, KPI and strength of record, which don’t factor into the NET.
So who will Syracuse play?
Well, let’s go with teams Syracuse won’t play, per selection rules listed below.
- Each of the first four teams selected from a conference shall be placed in different regions if they are seeded on the first four lines.
- Teams from the same conference shall not meet prior to the regional final if they played each other three or more times during the regular season and conference tournament.
- Teams from the same conference shall not meet prior to the regional semifinals if they played each other twice during the regular season and conference tournament.
- Teams from the same conference may play each other as early as the second round if they played no more than once during the regular season and conference tournament.
- If possible, rematches of non-conference regular-season games should be avoided in the First Four and first round.
- If possible, after examining the previous two years’ brackets, teams or conferences will not be moved out of its natural region or geographic area an inordinate number of times.
- If possible, rematches from the previous two tournaments should be avoided in the first round.
So in other words, Syracuse can’t play Duke until the Elite Eight at the earliest. That means if Syracuse is a No. 9 seed and Duke is a No. 1 seed, the Orange will be moved to a different region than the Blue Devils. Syracuse can, however, play Virginia and North Carolina as early as the round of 32 as those teams met only once each during the regular season.
Also, it’s highly unlikely Syracuse would play against Ohio State, Buffalo or Old Dominion in the first round given those teams met during the non-conference schedule.
It’s also unlikely that Syracuse would play against Arizona State, TCU or Michigan State in the first round as those teams played against each other in the 2018 NCAA Tournament.
A team may also be moved up or down a seed line or two in extraordinary circumstances to meet the criteria above. So it’s possible Syracuse could be anywhere from a No. 6 seed to a No. 11 seed.
Is that it?
That’s the gist. Jim Boeheim will host a presser after the selection show at Melo where he’ll field questions from the media and discuss the path ahead.
How can I follow along the rest of the way?
Read Nunes Magician, you dummy.
If there’s anything you think we might have missed, feel free to share that in the comment section below.