How will changes to NCAA tournament selection process affect Dayton?

July 14, 2017
  • By Marcus Hartman
  • Staff Writer
A picture of a giant bracket projected on a hotel in Indianapolis during a recent NCAA tournament. (Getty Images)

NCAA basketball teams will get more credit for significant road wins next season thanks to a new formula to be used by the tournament selection committee.

CBSSports.com reports on the changes, which are expected to help quality programs such as Dayton that play outside the Power 5 leagues but can only do so much to beef up their schedules.

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It remains to be seen how the changes will play out, but in theory teams will receive extra credit for playing quality teams on the road and be punished less for slipping up away from home against lesser opponents:

… beating the 68th-ranked team on the road will carry as much weight as beating the 24th-ranked team at home and potentially could lead to more at-large bids, and better seeds, for smaller programs.

The selection committee has always given consideration to strength of schedule, but finding quality opponents – especially ones willing to play at UD Arena – can be a challenge for teams like Dayton.

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This change should benefit the Flyers, who typically don’t have as many opportunities to rack up significant road wins because of the varying quality of teams in their conference (who can’t duck them like most major-conference teams prefer to do).

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Last season, the Flyers were 1-1 against RPI top 50 teams on the road and 3-0 away from home against teams ranked between 50 and 100. They lost two road games against teams ranked between 101 and 200.

Said Michigan State athletics director Mark Hollis (via CBSSports.com):

Beating elite competition, regardless of the game location, will still be rewarded, but the committee wanted the team sheets to reflect that a road game against a team ranked 60th is mathematically more difficult and of higher quality than a home game versus a team ranked 35th. We feel this change accomplishes that.”

It is too late to save Dayton and Wichita State from the shameful situation they found themselves in last March (when many observers thought both teams, especially the Shockers, were under-seeded), but it is a step in the right direction.