The first thirty-one teams are easy – these are the conference champions. The thirty-second team is the winner of the Ivy League conference. This is the regular season winner as this conference does not have a championship tournament. These teams know as soon as the season ends they will be included in the tournament.
Now comes the harder part – the selection of the “at large” teams. Any number of teams can be selected at large from each conference. Generally these teams come from the top conferences such as the ACC, The American, Atlantic-10, Big East, Big Ten, Big 12, Conference USA, Mountain West, Pac-12, and SEC. In the case of 2014 10 of these teams were runners-up in their respective conferences. Many are also borderline to gaining a tournament slot, close but not winners. These teams are referred to as being “on the bubble”.
What is surprising is a number of teams essentially know that they are assured of an at-large berth no matter their performance in their conference tournament. Most teams in the Top 25 in the national polls or RPI are essentially guaranteed at-large berths even if they do not win their respective conference tournaments. However, some teams that have been ranked heading into Selection Sunday, but didn’t win their conference tournament, have been left out (or “snubbed”) by the selection committee despite what the polls say. The Missouri Valley Conference has received the most snubs (five RPI top 40 teams excluded), with Missouri State left out each of the last nine years, despite RPI’s of 21, 34, and 36). Another famous snub occurred in 2004, when Utah State completed the regular season with a record of 25-2 but was snubbed after losing in their conference tournament, even though they were ranked in the polls. This seems to be where the “personal” feelings come into play, otherwise why would these teams have been excluded?
No this isn’t seeds you put in the ground (for anyone without a sense of humor that was a joke)!! It’s how the teams are ranked within their respective conferences. First teams are given an overall ranking, and then they are ranked within their regions. However, winning the conference championships does not necessarily guarantee a “good” seed for the tournament
Once the announcements are made and the seeds assigned, this is when the aggravation and irritation from fans start. The analysts and sports casters will spend hours arguing about who received an invitation, who didn’t, and why they did or didn’t. Maybe it’s the controversy that helps to draw the fans, making March Madness rival the Super Bowl!!
While not as big a draw as the Super Bowl of 114.4 million viewers for 2015. If you believe the analysts, the Final Four is going to catch up with the Super Bowl in both advertisement revenue and viewers.
The way the analyst’s calculate this seems a little “different”. Outright it seems the number of viewers for the Super Bowl is larger than March Madness. Super Bowl 2014 had 167 million viewers; while the 2013 championship NCAA had an audience of 27.1 million. So you ask, how can the analyst’s get March Madness is larger? According to an article by Jason Notte March Madness is the New Super Bowl.
This theory is based more on revenue than outright viewers. In 2013, the NCAA men’s tournament’s Final Four matchups and Final brought in $198.5 million in advertising revenue for broadcast partners. That’s a March Madness record and a big part of the reason those broadcasters paid $10 billion for the rights to broadcast the tournament through 2024, which is a huge haul even compared with the $28 million Fox, CBS and NBC paid to air NFL games, the playoffs and rotating Super Bowls through 2022.
The NCAA’s ad haul was still well shy of the $292 million last year’s Super Bowl brought in for NBC — with the gap in ad revenue between the Super Bowl and Final Four widening to $96.5 million from $50 million in 2009 — but that single game is no longer the measuring stick. For the entire 2013 NCAA Men’s Basketball Tournament, CBS and Turner generated $1.15 billion in ad revenue from NCAA sponsors such as General Motors, AT&T, Coca-Cola, Capital One, Nissan and Lowes. Other heavy hitters such as Anheuser-Busch InBev and SAB Miller, which can’t partner with the NCAA because of its alcohol policy, contributed nearly $60 million on their own. That $1.15 billion total is more than the $1.1 million spent on the NFL playoffs and Super Bowl combined in 2013, which makes it the second-straight year that March Madness advertisement money surpassed football’s playoff total.
The author has a good point – that looking at just one game, Super Bowl versus the NCAA Final Game does not make sense when looking at the entire picture. Those two games are just the result of a series. I wonder if Henry Porter could ever have imagined what his 8 team tournament would become. Based on the projections, this year’s tournament will be bigger and bring in more revenue than last years. Guess we will have to wait for the numbers.