SEC Proposes Change in NCAA Tournament Format

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SEC Proposes Change in NCAA Tournament Format

Post by UPSoccerFanatic on Fri Jun 26, 2009 2:35 pm

In a June 11, 2009 letter to the NCAA Division I Championships/Sports Management Cabinet, the SEC has proposed a change in the women's soccer Tournament format. For a description of the change and a few of my comments on it, use the following link: http://sites.google.com/site/rpifordivisioniwomenssoccer/current-news-1/secproposeschangeintournamentformat

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Re: SEC Proposes Change in NCAA Tournament Format

Post by DaTruRochin on Fri Jun 26, 2009 3:13 pm

According to the SEC coaches, it is physically too demanding for players to compete in the SEC tournament at the end of the regular season and then play two NCAA Tournament games the next weekend.

Uhhh well they could be like the rest of the national conferences in the country and not HAVE a post season conference tourney....

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Re: SEC Proposes Change in NCAA Tournament Format

Post by Geezaldinho on Fri Jun 26, 2009 3:38 pm

Here's the whole proposal:

SEC PROPOSES CHANGE IN TOURNAMENT FORMAT
posted an hour ago by cpthomas@q.com
In a June 11, 2009 letter to the NCAA Division I Championships/Sports Management Cabinet, the Southeastern Conference has proposed changes in the Division I Women's Soccer Tournament format for the first three rounds. The proposal is in response to concerns of the SEC women's soccer coaches. According to the SEC coaches, it is physically too demanding for players to compete in the SEC tournament at the end of the regular season and then play two NCAA Tournament games the next weekend. The changes would be as follows:

1. Play the Tournament's first round at 32 sites during the Tournament's first weekend. According to the SEC, in addition to lessening the physical demands on players during the first weekend of the Tournament, this would increase the opportunity to build interest around the country. In addition, rather than 48 teams traveling for the first-second round competition, only 32 teams would have to travel. Also, since the NCAA would be able to set up "appropriate regional matchups" for the first round games, the need for lengthy travel time would be reduced. [Note: Based on past NCAA practices, all 16 seeded teams would have games at home; and the teams with the higher RPIs in the remaining 16 games would have games at home.]

2. Play the second and third round games during the second weekend of the Tournament. The SEC suggests using eight four-team sites for this round of competition, although it indicates this should be determined by the Women's Soccer Committee and the Championships/Sports Management Cabinet. [Note: Based on past NCAA practices, if the NCAA were to follow the eight-site suggestion, the site for each four-team group would be the site of the highest seed in each group, unless this would result in three teams having to fly to a site when there is an alternative possibility of only two or one teams having to fly. Although the SEC's letter does not mention it, this would mean that 24 teams would be traveling to the second/third round sites, rather than the 8 teams currently traveling to the third round sites. The overall result of this, however, would be that for the first three rounds, 56 teams would be traveling whether under the current format (48 the first weekend of the first/second round plus 8 the second weekend of the third round) or under the SEC's proposed format (32 the first weekend of the first round plus 24 the second weekend of the second/third rounds). Further, althought it seems reasonably likely that under the SEC's proposal, the travel time for traveling teams the first weekend could be shorter, it also seems likely the travel time for traveling teams the second weekend could be longer. Thus the SEC's argument that its proposal would reduce overall travel costs and missed class time seems highly questionable.]

3. The format for the quarterfinals, semifinals, and finals would remain unchanged.

My knee-jerk reaction is this is good for the SEC, not so good for the West.

In the first round, proposal (1) increases the chances of teams from the SEC hosting a game, which they never do now very often. They don't get that many teams in the top 16, but they do get some in the top 32.

For a team like Portland it might mean we will get additional home games in the first round, but proposal (2) almost certainly decreases our chances of hosting in the second and third rounds. The teams in the NW would not only have to be good enough to get in the tournament, they'd have to be good enough to get through to round 2 That means we'd be playing higher seeded teams away, and it probably means we'd have to travel longer distances. - not so good for us. Meanwhile, in the East, there are plenty of teams to make pods out of. Ask yourself - when's the last time FLA had to travel and play a high seed because there was no team in their region?

As to the missed classes and long travel - the SEC has never shown great concern for Portland players when they have been sent to Notre Dame, Penn State, Colorado and Utah. I'll venture that UP has logged more air miles than any of the SEC schools - possibly more than ALL the SEC schools.

The three teams not traveling to a site rule has been the bane of our existence. This proposal just makes it worse for us. With a smaller pool for the 4 team pods to be constructed out of, it just mean we have a greater chance of traveling.


I say screw 'em. If the SEC tournament is hard on their kids, they know what to do - shorten the tournament or use the season results to determine their Guaranteed bid. that's what the WCC does - it's worked out fine over the years.

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Re: SEC Proposes Change in NCAA Tournament Format

Post by UPSoccerFanatic on Fri Jun 26, 2009 4:38 pm

I agree with the Geez on all counts.

Regarding end-of-season conference tournaments, the Big 10 has discontinued its tournament indefinitely, beginning with this season.

It would be great if all the conferences disposed of their tournaments. Then, they would be able to play more out-of-conference and out-of-region games, which would make all rating systems (Jones' SoccerRatings, Massey, and the RPI) work better.

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Re: SEC Proposes Change in NCAA Tournament Format

Post by eProf on Sat Jun 27, 2009 11:13 pm

My question would be whether the brackets would be fixed at the beginning of the tournament. If so, brackets would either need to be set up so that, inasmuch as possible, each of the eight groups of eight would be from the same region. Otherwise, you might get a pod of four in the second/third rounds where all four remaining teams in the pod are far from on another. If the brackets are skewed so that, say, most/all the western teams are together in two groups of eight, I wonder who gains an advantage when half of the top teams in the country are from the west? Hey, the SEC would pretty be guaranteed to avoid Stanford, UCLA, USC, Portland, Santa Clara etc., until the elite eight. The western teams would knock each other out while an SEC team advances by beating North-Middle-Western Tennessee State.

If the brackets are set up only after the first round is finished, that would seem really odd.

I agree with others regarding dropping the tournament. I thought that the purpose of the tournament was to prepare teams for the tournament. (Certainly it wouldn't be to increase the number of teams from the conference when an underserving team wins the tournament. Cool If it's reducing the teams' effectiveness in the tournament, drop the tournament.

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Re: SEC Proposes Change in NCAA Tournament Format

Post by Geezaldinho on Sat Jun 27, 2009 11:42 pm

UPSoccerFanatic wrote:It would be great if all the conferences disposed of their tournaments. Then, they would be able to play more out-of-conference and out-of-region games, which would make all rating systems (Jones' SoccerRatings, Massey, and the RPI) work better.

Well. that would of course, require another change in the NCAA rules. Currently, the rules allow for only 20 regular season games in 11 weeks.
(12 weeks in some years, but not this coming season)
The number of tournament games isn't limited, other than conferences still only have the same 11 weeks in which to do both the regular season games and the tournament games

I just checked Florida's 2009 schedule. They have 20 regular season games scheduled, and then the SEC tournament over 5 days (Dec. 4-8 ). the finalists will play three games in that span.

The brackets are announced the 9th of december, I believe.

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Re: SEC Proposes Change in NCAA Tournament Format

Post by Geezaldinho on Sat Jun 27, 2009 11:48 pm

eProf wrote:My question would be whether the brackets would be fixed at the beginning of the tournament. If so, brackets would either need to be set up so that, inasmuch as possible, each of the eight groups of eight would be from the same region. Otherwise, you might get a pod of four in the second/third rounds where all four remaining teams in the pod are far from on another. If the brackets are skewed so that, say, most/all the western teams are together in two groups of eight, I wonder who gains an advantage when half of the top teams in the country are from the west? Hey, the SEC would pretty be guaranteed to avoid Stanford, UCLA, USC, Portland, Santa Clara etc., until the elite eight. The western teams would knock each other out while an SEC team advances by beating North-Middle-Western Tennessee State.

If the brackets are set up only after the first round is finished, that would seem really odd.

I agree with others regarding dropping the tournament. I thought that the purpose of the tournament was to prepare teams for the tournament. (Certainly it wouldn't be to increase the number of teams from the conference when an underserving team wins the tournament. Cool If it's reducing the teams' effectiveness in the tournament, drop the tournament.

Good point, I think the NCAA uber-rules for all sports talk about seeding brackets for tournaments in terms of determining them beforehand according to season results. This would seem to run counter to that concept.

Of course, the rules for non-revenue sports only require seeding for 1/4 of the participants, but in practice, they pretty much try to compose the brackets as if the entire tournament was seeded, As UPSF has shown in the previous bracketology he has done.

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