NCAA Selection Committee’s Bracket Preview Is Riddled With Inconsistencies

Feb 18, 2023; Storrs, Connecticut, USA; UConn Huskies center Donovan Clingan (32) reacts with guard Andre Jackson Jr. (44) after a play against the Seton Hall Pirates in the second half at Harry A. Gampel Pavilion. Mandatory Credit: David Butler II-USA TODAY Sports

On Saturday, the NCAA basketball tournament selection committee did their annual bracket preview reveal, showing fans the current top 16 seeds as things stand right now. The problem is that this year’s preview was very confusing and had a lot of inconsistencies.

NCAA Selection Committee’s Bracket Preview Is Riddled With Inconsistencies

There were multiple big questions going into the committee’s reveal. For example, how would they handle Houston? The Cougars don’t have as many high-quality wins as other teams at the top, but they have stellar metrics. They are #1 in all but one system. We got an answer with Houston, currently the committee’s #2 overall seed.

There was also the question of what the committee would do with teams 10-17. All eight of those teams have resumes that are almost the exact same. One of them obviously had to be left out. But it was very surprising to see UConn be that team. Of those eight teams, the Huskies have the second most quad 1 wins and the best metrics of the bunch. Along with that, Indiana being number 13 made no sense. I had them seven spots lower than UConn in my seed list update on Friday night. However, the committee had the Hoosiers at least four spots higher. Having Indiana that high and that far ahead of UConn, and leaving the latter out of the top 16 entirely, makes zero sense. The Hoosiers were way too high.

There is also the problem of how inconsistent the committee seemed to be in regard to what they valued when seeding. Indiana lost to Northwestern on Wednesday yet was still 13th. Purdue lost to Maryland on Thursday but was still in front of Kansas on the 1 line for some reason. The Jayhawks had 12 quad 1 wins at the time of the reveal, the most of any team. No one else had more than nine. Yet the Boilermakers were ahead of the Jayhawks for some reason, leaving the latter as the last four seed. Very odd.

For some teams, like Houston, metrics seemed to matter more in the eyes of the selection committee. But for other teams, the quality of wins seemed to matter more. Kansas State had lost six of their last seven games heading into Saturday. Additionally, the results of the past couple of days didn’t seem to matter much at all.

Lots Of Disrespect For The Big East

With Marquette at #14 overall, Xavier at 16, and UConn out of the top 16 entirely, there was extreme disrespect for the Big East. The Big East is arguably the second-best conference in college basketball right now. It is almost laughable the amount of disrespect that was shown toward them. One more thing about UConn: just look at the wins they have. Their overall body of work is better than the teams in that area. Yes, committee chair Chris Reynolds said that the cutoff was “razor thin,” but it is still very confusing.

Was The Bracket Premade?

It really does seem like the selection committee may have put this bracket together on Wednesday or Thursday and didn’t bother to change it at all before the reveal on Saturday. Purdue and Indiana’s losses did not seem to factor into the committee’s thinking. Overall it was just a weird and confusing reveal.