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View Full Version : Autobids to conference tournament winners is absurd; glance at standings.



TravelinZag
02-24-2014, 01:08 PM
:confused:Each year a couple of teams get hot for three games, win their conference tourney, and get a ticket to the NCAA tournament despite a putrid record over the entire season. Look down the standings and you will find:

21 conferences have four or fewer teams with overall records above .500; a dozen have 3 or fewer teams above .500; 2 have one or no teams with overall records above .500. Questionable that such conferences should merit a autobid at all. The handful of teams at the top should be considered for at-large bids, but to award an automatic bid to the winners on conference tournaments at this level of competition is a travesty.

Softer test: with a couple of weeks to go (for most leagues) plus tournaments, a dozen conferences have 2 or fewer teams with less than 10 losses; in one, every member team has 10+ losses.

Teams: Out of 351, only 87 teams have fewer than ten losses over all. Forty per cent of these have eight or nine losses, and will likely be above double-digit losses by season's end. Granted, due to specific situations (i.e., injured stars who have returned, players not eligible until mid-year, etc.) there are some good teams with winning records that include more than ten losses, and deserve to dance. Hard to argue that there are any great teams with records like that. Harder still to see a couple of pretty good teams each year miss the "dance" while a couple of terrible teams with awful records get tickets because they won three games in a weak conference tournament.

JMO, yours may be better.

seacatfan
02-24-2014, 01:29 PM
I definitely hear you. I hate seeing teams w/ sub .500 records in the Big Dance. Jay Bilas has been lobbying for doing away w/ auto bids. I can understand the reasoning for making sure the BEST 68 teams get in. But it seems like it would rob the Tournament of some of the magic that makes it so special. A handful of the 1 bid leagues would never see another team get into the Dance if you took away their auto bid. That starts to reek a bit of elitism. We already have the BCS in football limiting opportunities for smaller schools, let's not screw up basketball by doing the same. The Tourney field has continued to expand, you still always have to draw a cut off line somewhere and every year a few teams are going to cry foul for getting left out. Some have a legitimate beef, some don't. Most years though the bubble teams that get left out are fairly mediocre if you really look at it. Personally, I'm fine w/ the winner of the SWAC conference tourney getting a bid instead of the 8th place team from the Big 10 or the ACC.

gonzagafan62
02-24-2014, 01:34 PM
The reason we love March is because only the Ivy League and teams in conferences with an odd number of teams don't let every single team in their conference tournament.

What happens is, every team is alive (except the Ivy League) until you are eliminated from your conference tournament. You can still literally win the national championship if you run the gauntlet. Hope is what keeps fans watching every single year.

This is why its my favorite sport. End of my rant and my 2cents.

wnczagfan
02-24-2014, 01:45 PM
The reason we love March is because only the Ivy League and teams in conferences with an odd number of teams don't let every single team in their conference tournament.

What happens is, every team is alive (except the Ivy League) until you are eliminated from your conference tournament. You can still literally win the national championship if you run the gauntlet. Hope is what keeps fans watching every single year.

This is why its my favorite sport. End of my rant and my 2cents.

+1

I would think including the regular season champion, as well as the conference tournament champion from each conference (which many times would be one and the same), would be ideal, but i am sure the number of teams in the NCAA tournament field would need to be increased, especially when you consider the need to include the third or fourth best teams at large from say, the ACC or whichever, that may be better than the top two teams (as judged by regular season and tournament championship) of other conferences.

cjm720
02-24-2014, 01:47 PM
Auto bids are driven by the conference, IIRC. The conference could chose to have a tourney or just have the season champs in.

webspinnre
02-24-2014, 01:51 PM
Auto bids are driven by the conference, IIRC. The conference could chose to have a tourney or just have the season champs in.

Yep. From a pure competitive standpoint, regular season winners should get the auto-bid. However, having the tourney winner get the bid means better marketing for the conference tourneys, which means more money.

wnczagfan
02-24-2014, 01:55 PM
Yep. From a pure competitive standpoint, regular season winners should get the auto-bid. However, having the tourney winner get the bid means better marketing for the conference tourneys, which means more money.

And a little more excitement! Who doesn't look forward to the WCC tournament on a neutral floor each year? Although it is counterintuitive, I think many people cherish the tournament championship more than the regular season championship.

Once and Future Zag
02-24-2014, 02:15 PM
+1

I would think including the regular season champion, as well as the conference tournament champion from each conference (which many times would be one and the same), would be ideal, but i am sure the number of teams in the NCAA tournament field would need to be increased, especially when you consider the need to include the third or fourth best teams at large from say, the ACC or whichever, that may be better than the top two teams (as judged by regular season and tournament championship) of other conferences.

My thoughts on the matter from 2011... edited slightly - as regards a 96 team tourney



I'd like to see two teams from each conference as auto bids - the regular season winner and the tournament winner - and if the same team is both, then the second place regular season winner would get the second auto-bid.

So you have 3 groups = 32 tourney winners (auto) / 32 regular season winners (auto) / 32 at-large

Since there are now 32 conferences, the league tourney champs get a bye, and the remaining teams are seeded 1-32 regular season champs vs 32-1 at-large and play the opening round. Pretty easy seeding for the first group, and probably pretty easy for the second as well. They would play these at 4 neutral (NBA?) sites, 8 games each site = 2 awesome days of high-stakes basketball - including some very, very good teams - and some pretty poor ones, in all honesty.

After the opening round of the non-bye teams, the remaining 64 teams are re-seeded along the S-Curve and play resumes as normal.

This both rewards a team still putting out the effort into winning their tourney, even if they've locked in a berth by being regular season champs - but doesn't penalize the overall best team in 24-or-so of the 32 conferences by simply losing one game in their tourney and not getting a bid because of a perceived weak conference.

It's somewhat convoluted, but I think it does the best of balancing the auto-bids vs the at-larges. I do suspect that the at-larges will mostly be the power conference teams with this plan, but they'll then be matched up against teams that did very well against their own "lesser" leagues to make it past the first round - so it sort of evens out. It will also reduce the perception of mid-major's getting snubbed overall, as very few leagues support more than 2 tourney-ready-ish teams any given year.

SWZag
02-24-2014, 02:30 PM
And a little more excitement! Who doesn't look forward to the WCC tournament on a neutral floor each year? Although it is counterintuitive, I think many people cherish the tournament championship more than the regular season championship.

- If you have an autobid to the conference tourney winner, you have 3-4 days of excitement.
- If you remove the conference tourney, and the regular season champion gets the automatic bid, it lends to a whole league schedule of excitement

Conference schedule now just decide the seeding for the conference tourney. The conference tourney would be just as exciting if you pull names out of a hat for seeds. Then play a whole regular season of non-league games. Maybe that's a good idea? I personally like league games to mean more.

SWZag

CDC84
02-24-2014, 02:32 PM
The bottom line is that the MEAC is willing to not put its best team into the NCAA tournament just so that they can get a game in a half empty arena on ESPN during championship week.

It's sad.

The power conferences will keep staging the tournaments because they are huge money makers and they allow their bubble teams to collect quality wins to make up for previous sins.

wnczagfan
02-24-2014, 05:04 PM
Nice work, Once and Future Zag! I like your idea.


Good point, SWZag!

I would like the regular season championship to mean more too, and it would if both the regular season championship and tournament championship meant an NCAA birth.

ZagaZags
02-24-2014, 05:12 PM
I like the autobid, this is what makes the conference tournaments so great. I love the underdog.

kclubfounder
02-24-2014, 05:16 PM
:confused:Each year a couple of teams get hot for three games, win their conference tourney, and get a ticket to the NCAA tournament despite a putrid record over the entire season. Look down the standings and you will find:

21 conferences have four or fewer teams with overall records above .500; a dozen have 3 or fewer teams above .500; 2 have one or no teams with overall records above .500. Questionable that such conferences should merit a autobid at all. The handful of teams at the top should be considered for at-large bids, but to award an automatic bid to the winners on conference tournaments at this level of competition is a travesty.

Softer test: with a couple of weeks to go (for most leagues) plus tournaments, a dozen conferences have 2 or fewer teams with less than 10 losses; in one, every member team has 10+ losses.

Teams: Out of 351, only 87 teams have fewer than ten losses over all. Forty per cent of these have eight or nine losses, and will likely be above double-digit losses by season's end. Granted, due to specific situations (i.e., injured stars who have returned, players not eligible until mid-year, etc.) there are some good teams with winning records that include more than ten losses, and deserve to dance. Hard to argue that there are any great teams with records like that. Harder still to see a couple of pretty good teams each year miss the "dance" while a couple of terrible teams with awful records get tickets because they won three games in a weak conference tournament.

JMO, yours may be better.

I couldn't possibly disagree more.

The auto bids are a significant reason March Madness (which starts with the conference tournaments) is arguably the greatest event sports has to offer.

Tinker if you must (like when protected seeds were added), but DO NOT make ANY dramatic changes (like you are proposing).

March Madness IS NOT BROKEN!!!!! Don't flipping try to "fix" it.

ZagaZags
02-24-2014, 05:25 PM
I couldn't possibly disagree more.

The auto bids are a significant reason March Madness (which starts with the conference tournaments) is arguably the greatest event sports has to offer.

Tinker if you must (like when protected seeds were added), but DO NOT make ANY dramatic changes (like you are proposing).

March Madness IS NOT BROKEN!!!!! Don't flipping try to "fix" it.

+1

Oregonzagnut
02-24-2014, 05:30 PM
You cannot call the NCAA tournament "The Big Dance" if you get rid of Cinderella. Greatest sports event every year.

I like the auto bid per conference, and if you get rid of that, you might as well say that only the current stock owners can invest in the NYSE, or that if you are a mid-major, good luck at doing what Gonzaga did to EVER get in the Dance. Jay Bilas is insane and is a power school with an East Coast Bilas.

I think they should combine the two elements of reg season champ and the conference tournament.

Here's my idea: At the end of the regular season you have a champion per conference. Still hold the conference tournaments, but include those wins into the regular season standings as an extension of the conference standings. That would not reward teams who didn't earn a postseason but allow teams that were close to winning, a 2nd chance to prove they are peaking at the right time and in case of ties, go to a total wins tiebreaker between the two teams for the automatic bid. or whatever.

The weakest team might still make a run and earn an NIT bid or CBB bid, but not a NCAA bid. Also that sub 500 team might knock out the leader and could actually play the spoiler, maybe only reward the #2 team in the conference, not allow the weakest teams in "the dance" that didn't earn it all year.

kclubfounder
02-24-2014, 05:39 PM
You cannot call the NCAA tournament "The Big Dance" if you get rid of Cinderella.

I like the auto bid per conference, and if you get rid of that, you might as well say that only the current stock owners can invest in the NYSE, or that if you are a mid-major, good luck at doing what Gonzaga did to EVER get in the Dance. Jay Bilas is insane and is a power school with an East Coast Bilas.

I think they should combine the two elements of reg season champ and the conference tournament.

Here's my idea: At the end of the regular season you have a champion per conference. Still hold the conference tournaments, but include those wins into the regular season standings as an extension of the conference standings. That would not reward teams who didn't earn a postseason but allow teams that were close to winning, a 2nd chance to prove they are peaking at the right time and in case of ties, go to a total wins tiebreaker between the two teams for the automatic bid. or whatever.

The weakest team might still make a run and earn an NIT bid or CBB bid, but not a NCAA bid. Also that sub 500 team might knock out the leader and could actually play the spoiler, maybe only reward the #2 team in the conference, not allow the weakest teams in "the dance" that didn't earn it all year.

I understand your point, but I still disagree. Teams from over half the conferences wouldn't even earn an NIT bid if they weren't in 2nd or 3rd place going into the conference tourney.

The NIT has agreed to accept any regular season champion that does not win its conference tournament.

That is enough for the teams in conferences where the regular season champion does not win its tournament and does not earn a bid.

IdahoTJR
02-24-2014, 05:41 PM
Small conference middle of the pack team wins their tourney. They get seeded so as to play in round one against another team that probably is in the same situation as them. Instead of being a 16 seed and playing a number 1 seed in round 1 they have a chance to actually win a tourney game, and the conference now gets a payout for 2 NCAA tourney games instead of 1. So if your the MEAC do you want your team seeded 15 or worse seeded 16 and playing a number 1 as your first game, or do you want your team to play on Tuesday with a good chance to win a game.

Oregonzagnut
02-24-2014, 05:47 PM
I understand your point, but I still disagree. Teams from over half the conferences wouldn't even earn an NIT bid if they weren't in 2nd or 3rd place going into the conference tourney.

The NIT has agreed to accept any regular season champion that does not win its conference tournament.

That is enough for the teams in conferences where the regular season champion does not win its tournament and does not earn a bid.

The point of my idea is that teams that are mathematically out of the running cannot ever hope to sneak in. That would eliminate the majority of spoilers except for those teams that were within 3-4 games of the conference champion, but actually ended up through a run in the conference tournament being the NEW conference champion with the actual final best winning %!

The NIT was not my point either, to heck with the NIT. My idea would in fact, guarantee that the NCAA "Big Dance" at least got every win% leaders from each conference, or the best team based on the tie breaker strength. That is the way it should be and it still rewards every conference. Bilas's way or excluding half the conferences per year is sacrilege tot he spirit of some modicum of all inclusiveness.

kclubfounder
02-24-2014, 06:21 PM
My idea would in fact, guarantee that the NCAA "Big Dance" at least got every win% leaders from each conference, or the best team based on the tie breaker strength. That is the way it should be and it still rewards every conference.

That is the way it should be???!!!!

I couldn't disagree more. You seem to think the conference tournaments shouldn't mean anything to over 50% of NCAA Division 1 teams.

I guess we agree to disagree.

TravelinZag
02-24-2014, 09:52 PM
You raise some interesting points. Keep Cinderella! Eliminate ugly step-sisters! There are some awful conferences (and some good conferences carrying perpetual awful bottom-feeder teams). Simply forming a conference doesn't deserve a reward. The "expand the tournament" view is not driven by the notion that there are more than 68 excellent teams that have "earned" a shot at the national championship. It is driven by 1. money, and 2. a quaint notion that "every child deserves a ribbon." The latter is fine for kindergarten, but ridiculous beyond middle school. Almost half of the current conferences have aggregate losing records. I would prefer to see D-1 divided into two divisions, based on performance, not conference affiliation. The result would be better competition for all. That won't happen.

If we must have a larger tournament, I suggest 32 seeded teams with byes and the best possible geographic bracket placements. They would be selected on merit alone. The four play-in games would be replaced by two rounds which would reduce 128 teams to 32 advancing to join the seeded 32. One hundred and sixty teams would play in the tournament. That's nearly half of all D-1 teams, and just slightly larger than the total number of teams playing in some post-season D-1 tourney now. Tough to eliminate the remaining 191? Well, today half that number cannot possibly finish above .500, and frankly don't deserve to dance even if they win their conference tourney. Win the majority of your games and most of your conference games, plus the conference tourney? Dance on! Otherwise, winning the conference tourney is its own reward. Play those first two rounds Saturday and Monday before the round of 64. Rough road for the play-in winners? It should be! Rough for the selection committee? Their toughest work -- selecting and seeding the top 32 and the 128 play-ins is already done. All they have to do is seed the 32 play-in survivors. They would probably do a tentative S-curve after Saturday results narrowed to 64, then adjust on Monday evening or Tuesday.

Oregonzagnut
02-24-2014, 10:41 PM
That is the way it should be???!!!!

I couldn't disagree more. You seem to think the conference tournaments shouldn't mean anything to over 50% of NCAA Division 1 teams.

I guess we agree to disagree.

WEll I think those 50% teams who couldn't win in conference still have a chance to make a run in the conference tournament to make the NIT or whatever. No game is ever for nothing is it? Pride, rivalries and actually ending the season with a win is kinda rare anyway with tournaments the way they are. In Div 1 football a lot of teams get to end their season with a win because of the bowl system. But very Few teams in DivI basketball get to end their season with a win.Champions and independents are pretty much the only ones. Maybe 5-6 teams every year end with a win?

Is the NIT nothing? Would Gonzaga snub an invite to the NIT if we didn't get a golden ticket? No. But in my system there could be no way that LMU could surpass us, but BYU, USF, St Marys would all have a legitimate chance to end the conference season with the most conference wins. I like the idea of the team with the most wins in conference gets in the Dance. And that can be done if the conference games are just added into the total.

BTW, you are right, that is what I "seem to think", esp. if they are going to make detrimental changes like Bilas or the power conferences want to push. I take it you like it the way it is and are just fine with 2-3 teams getting bilked out of an entire dominating regular season? Well, let me be clear, my idea isn't what I ultimately want regardless of the above bold quote being taken out of context from my reply, as if I am speaking for everyone. If you have better ideas I am open to suggestions for improvement, because I disagree with just putting in the top 68 teams based on RPI, KenPom and Sagarin or whatever statistical weighting they choose. There would be entire conferences who would be so left out and after a while the recruiting and scheduling would be completely monopolized by the Power BCS 6-7. It would ruin the whole concept of "The Dance" and the Gonzagas of the future would be even rarer. Plus I also like the fact that one from every conference gets in AND it ensures the team with the highest winning % from each conference gets in. That should keep the cinderella aspect alive and it should make the basketball purists more happy too.

Just an idea ! A compromise and it really isn't excluding 50% of the teams. It would depend on how many teams were 2-3 games out of the lead. The 9 seed would still have to beat the 1 seed in the first game to have any chance at such a fantastic run. I think it would be exciting to see and that is why teams always play hard in basketball, IMO. Unlike football.

I'd hate to think that what is happening in Div 1 football may happen in Div 1 basketball. The rich get richer by flexing their money muscles and squeezing out the chances for the little guy to get rich. Either by luck or by hard work. The Big East tried to leverage the others, but luckily the basketball schools flexed right back and it kinda backfired on the power schools.

We agree to disagree (respectfully I hope) unless we actually agree on the biggest thing, which is Don't fix what isn't broken. So if the concensus is it isn't broken, I say definitely DON"T change it. But if most people want to limit the sub 500 teams from displacing better ones based on fluky wins, then there is a middle ground somewhere where every conference matters and every team has a chance to at the start of every conference season. Even Grambling or Presbyterian.