Livengood at the center of NCAA selections

They are the men in the hotseat. For the majority of one weekend, some of the nation's most prominent athletic directors gather in a secluded room to put together the foundation of the greatest three-week event in sports. This year, Arizona Athletic Director Jim Livengood heads the NCAA Tournament Selection Committee.

Livengood knows he's going to take some heat after the field of 65 has been set in stone. He understands that CBS will grill him about the bubble teams that missed the cut. Jim Nantz and Billy Packer will ask why a specific major conference wasn't as well represented as they might have liked. ESPN will want a breakdown on the top seeds. But Livengood believes that by virtue of a process that features roughly a dozen points of criteria, and because of the conversation and debate that will follow, this bracket will not let the nation down once the drama begins.

"No one criteria has more weight than another and still, at the end of the day, after serious discussion, we decide on one team over another based on most of what you see below," Livengood said.

Here are the major points of reference:

* rankings by regional advisory committees of coaches
* division I record
* overall RPI
* non-conference record
* non-conference RPI
* conference record
* road record
* record in last 10 games
* injuries to key players
* special circumstances that may have affected a team's performance in certain games such as weather-related travel difficulties
* record against other teams that are under consideration

"The above factors are the ones taken most seriously by the committee and are truly the backbone of the selection process," Livengood said.

Cat Tracks Publisher Doug Carr and editor Brad Allis will host a special Selection Sunday show from 5-7 pm on FoxSports 1290 AM, live from the Inn Suites Hotel at I-10 & St. Mary's Road in Tucson.

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