Sunday No Rest For Selection Committee

March 6, 2001

Listen in to today's conference call with Big East commissioner Mike Tranghese, the chairman ofthe NCAA tournament selection committee.

NEW YORK - The NCAA Tournament Selection Committee gets togetherinIndianapolis on Thursday and its work won't be done until the final minutesbefore the brackets are revealed.

The 10-member committee starts the task of selecting and seeding the 65teams for the tournament field on Thursday, but because four of the topconferences don't play their championships games until Sunday, there'splentythat be done until then.

'I have been sitting in Indianapolis for two days giving it somethought,'Big East commissioner Mike Tranghese, the chairman of the committee, said inconference call Tuesday. 'We as a committee, our jobs are made harder withgames on Sunday, but we don't have the right to wipe out Sunday games.Peopleare playing on that day for significant business reasons. I like to thinktheanswer is out there but I don't know what it is.'

The Atlantic Coast Conference and Southeastern Conference start theirtournament title games at 1 p.m. EST Sunday. The Big 12 starts at 3 p.m. andthe Big Ten tips off an hour after that.

Sunday championships always have been around, but it's years like this,where as many as three No. 1 seeds could be decided by those games, thatmakethe committee's already tough job even tougher.

'We can't move the selection show back another day for logisticsbecauseteams have to travel to first-round sites,' Tranghese said. 'It's an issue,Ican tell you that and it can complicate situations. We have to be preparedandhave a variety of scenarios ready depending on the outcome of those games.'

The committee has always prided itself on the amount of informationavailable to it as it makes the decisions on who's in and where they go.

'This is as well prepared as any committee I've been involved with,'saidTranghese, who is in his fifth year on the panel and first as the chairman.'People have worked hard on their own and we'll start on Thursday. We'vealready started talking a lot among ourselves about things like tough gamesandconferences, and hopefully that will help us starting Thursday.'

The great majority of the 34 at-large bids is expected to be from thesixpower conferences - ACC, Big Ten, SEC, Big 12, Pac-10 and Big East.

One of the mid-major programs that will be given consideration presentsasituation rarely seen.

Richmond, which won the Colonial Athletic Association regular-seasonchampionship, wasn't allowed to participate in the conference tournamentbecause its leaving next season for the Atlantic 10.

The Spiders (21-6), who were 43rd in the latest RPI figures availableto thepublic, didn't get a shot at an automatic bid and will have to rely on thecommittee.

'They're an at-large team and everybody on the committee knows theyweren'tgiven an opportunity to play in the conference tournament,' Tranghese said.'We'll evaluate them as a team that won their conference and look at theirschedule and see if they deserve to get in. They will be on the list ofconference regular-season champions we put up on the board.'

By JIM O'CONNELL
AP Basketball Writer

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