Monday, October 19, 2009

Project Mockingbird: Uncaged

Want to go beyond the bracket? Want to demystify the selection process? Want to free yourself of parroting the IN/OUT claims of "bracketologists"? Do it yourself. No, do not put 65 teams together yourself. There are a great number of people who already do that pretty well.

Instead, become a recruiter and a facilitator. Don't be an army of one, but a oligarchy of ten (or seven or four...). Wrangle up some friends who 1) love college hoops, 2) have a high tolerance for reading tedious rules and regulations, 3) enjoy voting, 4) REALLY enjoy voting, 5) can devote a lot of time reviewing resumes in February and March, and 6) can block off March 13 and 14 on their calendars.

If you have a group that fits the criteria above, all you need is a meeting place be it physical or virtual (I've participated in "mock" committees that have done both).

TBB will keep you posted on where we are in our fifth version of our own committee (the South Central Kentucky Selection Simulation Project or SCKySSiP [SKISS-up]), but your home grown version can start by reviewing the NCAA Men's Selection Committee Principles and Procedures which is generally referred to as the "selection criteria."

Also, here is a page that has a bunch of List 8 ballots and an S-Curve. More stuff will be posted as the season goes along, but the selection criteria and these docs are the building blocks. I am here to help you answer logistical questions about how to vote, meet, how much time this will take, etc. I can only share my own experience, but I have done it five times, so I might be able to save you some headaches on the front end. More on Mockingbird as the season progresses.

Locally, the WKU Hilltoppers are primed again as the clear Sun Belt favorite. The did lose the lovable yet assassin-like Orlando Mendez-Valdez, but they are bigger and deeper than last year's round of 32 club. Coach Ken McDonald is openly embracing the "favorite" role. More on the Toppers and the Sun Belt coming soon.