What is the March Madness selection committee?

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The NCAA Men’s Division I Basketball Committee — often known simply as the Selection Committee — plays one of the most important rolls in the NCAA tournament. RELATED: What is March Madness: The NCAA tournament explained

To understand exactly what the committee does, let’s take a step back and look at how men’s basketball teams are selected for the NCAA tournament. 

How are the tournament teams selected? 

There are two ways that a team can earn a bid to the NCAA tournament. The 32 Division I conferences all receive an automatic bid, which they each award to the team that wins the postseason conference tournament. Regardless of how a team performed during the regular season, if they are eligible for postseason play and win their conference tournament’s championship game, they receive a bid to the NCAA tournament. These teams are known as automatic qualifiers. 

The second avenue for an invitation is an at-large bid. The selection committee convenes on Selection Sunday, after every regular season and conference tournament game is played, and decides which 36 teams that are not automatic qualifiers have the pedigree to earn an invitation to the tournament. 

RELATED: When did NCAA tournament brackets become popular?

How do they decide which teams get an at-large bid? 

There are a multitude of stats and rankings that the selection committee takes into account — from NET rankings (which replace the RPI this year) to strength of schedule — but there is no set formula that determines whether a team receives an at-large bid or not. 

MORE: The NET, explained: NCAA adopts new college basketball ranking to replace RPI

What (and when) is Selection Sunday? 

Selection Sunday is the day when the selection committee reveals the full NCAA tournament bracket, including all teams and all seeds. In 2019, Selection Sunday is on Sunday, March 17.

What is the March Madness selection committee? 

The 10-member NCAA Men’s …

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