Huggins, one of 13 head coaches on the this third version of the National Association of Basketball Coaches ad hoc committee, said that it's imperative the tournament selection parameters are "consistent" from season to season. That will better enable teams to formulate their schedule to take advantage of both their strengths and how the NCAA seeds teams in the postseason.
Often, teams with lower RPI are given seeding or bid nods over those with higher, and everything from strength of schedule, wins against top 40 teams, road record, "quality" wins and losses and more are factored. The official NCAA website (NCAA Selection Criteria) lists no fewer than nine aspects to consider. Included in that list are injuries, player and coach availability and various computer metrics. Even the RPI metric is based around much a team cannot control, being broken down into "a team’s Division I winning percentage (25 percent weight), its opponents’ winning percentage (50 percent weight) and its opponents opponents’ winning percentage (25 percent weight)."
And yet there are the head-scratching examples of teams like Huggins' 2010 WVU squad. The Mountaineers finished 24-6 in the regular season, won the Big East Tournament to enter Selection Sunday with 27 total wins, and was among the hottest teams in the nation after having won six in a row and eight of nine. Yet West Virginia was not only denied a one seed, but was also slotted in the same region as the overall No. 1 seed in Kentucky, meaning the Mountaineers were actually the lowest ranked of the two seeds, putting them far closer to a three than a one.
"We've had a phone conversation where basically everybody has said there are some things (to examine," Huggins said. "We won't get into specifics of things until the next meeting."
That comes June 22, when the committee will begin to get into the details of what changes might be made. This is the third ad hoc committee formed by the NABC, the first focused on working with the NCAA and NBA to adjust the rules for student-athletes declaring for the NBA Draft and lengthened the timeline to return to school after the NBA combine. The second worked on student-athlete time demands in men's basketball and presented its recommendations to the NCAA Council for consideration.
The third is designed to "provide the perspective of men's basketball coaches as well as a team perspective to the NCAA Division I Men's Basketball Committee regarding the selection, seeding and bracketing process."
At a May meeting in Indianapolis, the NABC board of directors and the NCAA committee engaged in considerable discussion regarding tournament selection, seeding and bracketing, according to the press release.
The committee consists of head coaches representing all levels of Division I, former NCAA men's basketball committee members, NCAA and NABC staff. NABC Executive Director Jim Haney and former SEC Commissioner Mike Slive, a former chair of the NCAA Men's Basketball Committee, are co-chairs.
"We had a very good dialogue with the men's basketball committee and NCAA staff during our meetings and especially on the topics selection and seeding for the tournament," Haney said. "The men's basketball championship is one of the greatest events in sports and we are hopeful that recommendations from our ad hoc group will help to enhance it even more."
Huggins said he believes any changes could be implemented this coming season.
"They could be, with the selection committee meeting in July," he said.
The ad hoc committee members include the following coaches:
John Calipari, University of Kentucky (Southeastern Conference)
Bill Coen, Northeastern University (Colonial Athletic Association)
Mark Few, Gonzaga University (West Coast Conference)
Steve Fisher, San Diego State University (Mountain West Conference)
Mark Gottfried, North Carolina State University (Atlantic Coast Conference)
Bob Huggins, West Virginia University (Big 12 Conference)
Ron Hunter, Georgia State University (Sun Belt Conference)
James Jones, Yale University (Ivy League)
Jeff Jones, Old Dominion University (Conference USA)
Phil Martelli, Saint Joseph's University (Atlantic 10 Conference)
John Thompson III, Georgetown University (Big East Conference)
Mark Turgeon, University of Maryland (Big Ten Conference)
Gary Waters, Cleveland State University (Horizon League)
Administrators (both former NCAA Men's Basketball Committee Members):
Doug Elgin, Commissioner (Missouri Valley Conference)
Dan Guerrero, Director of Athletics-UCLA (PAC-12)
Dan Gavitt, Vice President for Men's Basketball (NCAA)
Reggie Minton, Deputy Executive Director (NABC)