Now here’s your daily dose of some twist that could very well spark some conversation. On Tuesday, the NCAA Selection Committee, headed by Michigan State University athletic director Mark Hollis, announced that they will be making a little tweak to the revealing of the brackets, or leading up to it, rather.
For the first time ever, the NCAA is going to provide a sneak peek at the tourney bracket in February: https://t.co/9CElIFJDjm
— ESPN College BBall (@ESPNCBB) January 24, 2017
Yes, come February 11, the Committee will publicly reveal who the top 16 teams are in the country at that time. That’s teams seeding 1-4 in all four regions, if you’re following the brackets. Effectively, the Committee will be showing what the brackets would look like, at least a portion of it, if the season were to end on February 11. The true Selection Sunday and revealing of the 68-team field is a month later on Sunday, March 12.
Hollis released a statement as part of the announcement on Tuesday, citing that they hope it will “create a buzz” with college basketball fans for that next month leading up to the brackets being fully revealed:
“We are excited about giving the fans a glimpse to what the men’s basketball committee is thinking at this point of the season, and creating a buzz as we look towards Selection Sunday,” Hollis said in a statement. “It’s important to recognize after this list has been released, there is still a significant portion of the regular season to be played and every league must stage its conference tournament. There’s potential for quite a bit of movement until we do it for real March 12, but this early peek will give everyone insight as to where the committee stands as we hit the stretch run of the regular season.”
In a way, it’s almost like how the College Football Playoff rankings are first revealed midway through the season and then subsequently every Tuesday after that initial showing up until the final rankings are made public. It’s the Committee’s way of showing who are the top 16 teams at that very moment, i.e. who have the biggest targets on their back.
Hollis will be making the announcement of the 16 (current) best teams on Saturday, February 11 at 12:30 p.m. ET on CBS, alongside studio host Greg Gumbel and hoops analysts Clark Kellogg and Seth Davis. Hollis has been a part of the Selection Committee since 2012 and held the vice chair position last season. This is his first year as the Committee chair.