NCAA selection committee to place greater emphasis on road wins

When it comes to deciding which college basketball teams make the NCAA tournament, the selection committee has long factored in "quality wins."

The definition of "quality win" is changing.

Beginning next season, the men's selection committee will alter its definition to highlight the importance of winning on the road, the NCAA announced Friday after a committee vote in Chicago.

Neutral-site and road results will get a boost on the team sheets used in the evaluation of NCAA tournament contenders.

"Team sheets will place greater emphasis on where the games are played rather than the ranking of each opponent," the NCAA said in a statement.

Previously, team sheets have been divided into columns that show results against the top-50 RPI teams, teams ranked 51-100, 101-200 and teams ranked below 200.

This season, different categories will be used:

•Home games against teams ranked 1-30, neutral-site games against top-50 opponents and road games against opponents ranked in the top 75.

•A second column will show home games against team ranked 31-75, neutral-site games against teams ranked 51-100 and road games against teams ranked 76-135.

•A third column showing home games against teams ranked 76-160, neutral-site games against 101-200 and road games against 136-240.

•A fourth column including home games against teams ranked 161-351, neutral-site games against 201-351 and road games against 241-351.

"We consulted with experts within the coaching and analytics fields who looked at historical data, based on winning percentages by game location, to come up with these dividing lines within each of the columns," committee chairman and Michigan State athletic director Mark Hollis said in a statement.

"The emphasis of performing well on the road is important, as was the need for teams not to be penalized as much for road losses. Beating elite competition, regardless of the game location, will still be rewarded, but the committee wanted the team sheets to reflect that a road game against a team ranked 60th is mathematically more difficult and of higher quality than a home game versus a team ranked 35th. We feel this change accomplishes that."

The committee also plans to continue studying different available metrics for evaluating teams, with the likelihood that a new metric could be in place by 2018-19.

sryan@chicagotribune.com

Twitter @sryantribune

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