INDIANAPOLIS--- Putting a fresh spin on one of the most anticipated weeks on the sports calendar, the NCAA Division I Men’s Basketball Committee is relocating its selection, seeding and bracketing meeting this March to New York City. The move is intended to increase its exposure on the overall selection process, said Joseph R. Castiglione, chair of the committee and director of athletics at the University of Oklahoma.
For the past several years the meeting has been held in the home city of NCAA headquarters in Indianapolis and, previously, Kansas City. Castiglione said moving it to New York will result in additional opportunities to discuss the selections process with media, notably Turner and CBS, which are the NCAA’s broadcast partners for the Division I men’s basketball championship.
“Our motivation behind this change is simple. We want even more focus on selection week, which will give March Madness considerable momentum heading into the best three weeks of the year,” said Castiglione. “New York provides us with countless platforms to provide insight and share updates on where the committee is with the process of building the bracket. It’s also an opportunity to have candid conversations with media outlets after the bracket has been unveiled. We think this is an exciting, yet practical, initiative to do something different without jeopardizing the intent of the meeting.
“The changes we are making to the selection orientation meeting in February in Indianapolis will help offset the marginal increase of expenses of conducting the selection meeting in New York rather than our headquarters city.”
The committee approved the change in location for selections at its fall meeting in Phoenix, which is the site for the 2017 Final Four. The logo for that event was unveiled Tuesday in a press conference that featured the head coaches of the Division I programs in the state of Arizona: Jack Murphy of Northern Arizona University, Dan Majerle of Grand Canyon University, Sean Miller of the University of Arizona and Bobby Hurley of Arizona State University, which is the host institution for the event.
The two-day meeting covered a wide variety of topics related to the championship. With the regular season starting Friday, the committee received an update from J.D. Collins, the NCAA’s national coordinator of officiating. Since taking over his role in May, Collins’ communication with officials and regional and conference coordinators has focused on enforcing the written rules to reduce physical play in the game, specifically calling fouls for illegal contact on the perimeter and in the post.
“The emphasis to clean up the physical play is universally supported by the NABC, the Division I Men’s Basketball Oversight Committee and the Conference Commissioners Association,” said Castiglione. “J.D. has done a terrific job of making sure that officials know what the expectations are, beginning Friday with the start of the season. When our group selects officials to work the NCAA tournament, the decisions are going to be directly tied to which people adhere to the officiating initiatives that have been set.”
The committee also participated in a training session with Synergy Sports Technology, a company that will provide web-based access to games so committee members have another resource to observe and evaluate teams. In addition, the group received an update from the oversight committee and reports regarding tournament operations, ticketing and ancillary events.
Finally, the committee again discussed the possibility of doing an in-season ranking of teams, but there was not support in doing so.