Bracketology Trip: The NCAA Mock Selection Bracket

    
February 18th, 2012
There is still much to talk about after the whirlwind NCAA Mock Selection Committee. After Thursday night's session, I wrote about the major flaws in the selection process. These include an over-reliance on the "eye-test", a delusion that the RPI is not the most important ranking, yet it is the basis of the entire interface, and a general ambiguity about what it really means to select the "best" teams.

 

But the process is ultimately rather successful. While there is no perfect way to make a bracket, the committee generally picks 37 darn good teams, and seeds them in a fashion that is generally worthwhile. Part of the reason for this success (despite the flaws) is that the committee members themselves are highly passionate about the process, and the process does afford for endless nuanced discussion over team merits. The actual committee has 7-8x more time to make their decisions, and I can only imagine the endless discussion that takes place.

 

As the mock committee got down to the bubble, the difference between teams became slim to negligible. In fact, what often develops are philosophical debates. Does a team with four Top 50 wins (but also 9 chances at getting them) deserve more respect than a team with only one Top 50 win (but only 3 chances)? There is really no right or wrong answer to this question. (Though the committee could create a guideline stressing one way or the other, but they keep things open for personal interpretation.)

 

Below is the Mock Selection Committee's final product: The 2012 Media Mock Bracket.  Later today, I will follow up with more discussion of how this bracket came to be, some of the debates that were had, and more answers to reader questions. For now, enjoy the bracket:

 

2012 NCAA Mock Selection Bracket

 

Shawn Siegel took part in the NCAA's "Mock Selection Committee" in Indianapolis. Check out the Bracketology Blog for commentary on the event and selection process. Feel free to post question on Twitter @collegehoopsnet.