NCAA Tournament selection committee leader explains why even easy wins matter


(Patrick) #1

CBS Sports: One criticism some have had in recent years is that losses don’t seem to matter as much as they should, particularly in some instances where teams with a lot of losses could be justified either not being put into the field or being a seed line lower. Is that true?

BR: The committee has a lot of conversations in private about those last two quadrants. However, when we’re out talking, we tend to talk about the positives and not the negatives. I look at it from two [ways]. One, I think one of the hardest things to do is win the games you’re supposed to. I don’t think we talk about that enough. It’s not necessarily that they’re great wins, but you win the games you’re supposed to – 18- to 21-year-olds, that’s hard.

If you coach, you see that over a 30-game period of time, probably a handful of games you say, “Boy, I wish we played this way all the time.” And a handful of games you go, “I don’t know who put on our uniforms, but let’s just get the hell out of town.” I don’t want our committee to put too much value on those couple games where it just wasn’t working. Or in those couple games you say, I mean, Butler beat Villanova. They hit 13 out of their last 14 3s. That’s an anomaly. That’s an outlier. You’re trying to describe the team by looking at the entire picture, and, yes, you want to give them credit for that great win and you want to make sure you’re aware of that bad loss but also understand the nature of 18- to 21-year-olds and playing 30 games.

In shorthand, sometimes we talk too much about that great win or we talk too much about that bad loss. The reality is, let’s have a better description of the team.