Former UConn athletic director and NCAA basketball chair Jeff Hathaway held a teleconference this afternoon to discuss the selection process in determining the 68-team field.
One of the key issues for the committee this year is transparency of the process. For those who are not up to speed on all the NCAA is doing you can go to ncaa.org and view the various tools fans have for insight into the process.
For the first time this year, ncaa.org has a daily RPI update, nitty gritty sheets and team sheets for all teams. These are the same numbers the 10 committee members view each day.
Some other notes from the call:
Hathaway said there are more better teams this year than ever before. "A lot of very good basketball teams are playing very good basketball. That adds to the challenge for the committee."
Hathaway had a catch phrase for several questions that were asked. His point was to get across the main criteria teams face for getting into the tournament.
The catch phrase was: Who'd you play, where'd you play them and how'd you do?
So strength of schedule is important, success away from home is important and obviously wins and losses are important. In a nutshell, that's the RPI.
Hathaway also referenced the "eyeball" test as part of the criteria. He said most committee members try to see each team in contention two or three times, either in person or on television. He was asked to explain what the eyeball test meant to him.
"Are they one of the best 37 teams in the country," Hathaway said. "All of the committee members have to assess what the eyeball test means to them."
Pitt did not come up on the call. Pitt's RPI is 78. The Panthers need to win all five of their remaining games and one or two to get into the conversation.
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