home jobs contact us
Our Clients:
Browse by Sport
Find us on ASAP sports on Facebook ASAP sports on Twitter
ASAP Sports RSS Subscribe to RSS
Click to go to
ASAP Sports e-Brochure View our


March 11, 2015

Scott Barnes

DAVE WORLOCK:  Good morning, everyone.  Welcome to this morning's teleconference with Scott Barnes the director of athletics at Utah State University and the chair of the Division I Men's Basketball Committee for the 2014/15 season.
I would like to remind everyone that transcripts for this call, as well as Sunday night's call, and for all press conferences throughout the men's basketball championships, will be available online this year at www.NCAA.com/transcripts rather than sending out PDFs for all the press conferences.
At this time I'll turn it over to opening remarks from Scott and then we'll take questions.
SCOTT BARNES:  Thank you, David.  Good morning and thank you for all of you to take the time to be on the call with us.
We're excited to get started.  We're actually in the selection room as I speak to you now.  In a couple hours, we will officially begin our process of selection and seeding.  In fact, by 4:30 this afternoon, we will cast our first ballot in the process.
I wanted to cover a couple things as we open this up for questions:
First of all, a perspective from me specifically.  As I think about the first two lines here as we get going with seeding and bracketing, in my five years I can't remember it being quite as clear as it is in terms of the team that might populate those two lines.
Certainly, that's the perspective of today.  There's more games to play.  But it is one thing that seems to be shaping up.
I wanted to also mention to you, conversely, when you look at the seed lines, for instance, three to five, six to nine, I think we're in for a lot of work.  I think there will be some challenges in coming to decisions on that group of teams.
The other thing I wanted to mention to you all is specifically when you think about those teams that are regular‑season champions, teams such as Murray State, Iona, others who have had terrific seasons to this point, two things are certain:
One is that those teams will be on the under consideration board.  They'll be in front of the committee for most of the week here as we make our decisions.
Secondly, those regular‑season champs, if they aren't selected in the NCAA tournament, will automatically go into the NIT field.  So I wanted to mention that.
With that I'm happy to take questions at this point.  Thank you.

Q.  Scott, you mentioned some definitions of the one and two lines.  Since there is such a crowd for the number one seed line, how do you judge conference tournaments?  Say, for example, you have a Villanova, Kansas, Arizona and Wisconsin, are the Big Ten, Big 12, Big East considered different in the eyes of the committee or is it all the same?  If three of four of them win, you'd have to go to other criteria?
SCOTT BARNES:  Thank you for the question.
Again, what we do is we focus on the team, the body of work of the actual team.  Certainly those teams that you've mentioned are all worthy of strong considerations.
A run in the tournament, any run in those tournaments, plays a part, particularly when the résumés are so thin and we're looking for differentials between those teams.  We do have to consider how they finish in terms of what's going on.
The weight of the conference is one of the things that is of interest to us is.  Are their balanced conference schedules or not as we go through the regular conference season?  That's certainly a consideration.  Are teams playing each other twice?  That is an example.

Q.  Scott, I cover Kentucky.  They're playing in the SEC tournament.  Potentially they could play Sunday, then they hope to be placed in Louisville, which I believe is Thursday/Saturday games.  How much consideration does the committee give to that kind of turnaround, to play on a Sunday in the conference tournament finals, then have to play on Thursday rather than Friday?
SCOTT BARNES:  I appreciate the question.
I think the first part of this is we are challenged with conference tournaments in that we don't set the format or schedule for conference tournaments.  We're obviously working around a lot of different conference schedules.
That particular aspect isn't taken into consideration as much as we're not developing that conference schedule.

Q.  I remember in the olden days, there was what we called 'the S‑curve' where the number one one seed would play the worst number two seed.  I'm wondering how much that's still in play.  How much does geography set the standard in terms of wanting to get teams closer to their home cities?
SCOTT BARNES:  Geography certainly plays a current component in our current principles and procedures.  Teams from the same conference being placed in the same region is another consideration, making sure that we have separation there.
The S‑curve is not something that we currently use in our principles and procedures.

Q.  Everyone here in Kentucky thinks there's such a clear‑cut number one overall seed, it's not subject to change.  What do you think of that?
SCOTT BARNES:  I think, given the circumstances, as of today, that's certainly a good read on the situation.

Q.  I'm sure you've probably heard Jay Bilas made a recommendation over the weekend, written on ESPN.com, about some tweaking of the system.  His main recommendation was that all decisions on at‑large teams be included to be made at the end of the regular season, that you would have a list of 68, then automatic qualifiers would come up from the bottom to take names off the at‑large list.  Any thoughts on that?  I know the system has been pretty stable for a while.  Any thought that would improve or maybe ease the way the committee has to work through this week?
SCOTT BARNES:  Thank you for the question.
First of all, what we will do throughout this process this week is stick to the principles and procedures that we have adopted.
But what is really good about this process, this committee in particular, is that we are always trying to improve our process.  So this summer we will talk about what you've mentioned to determine whether changes need to be made, but certainly not in midstream at this point.

Q.  Is that something that's ever been discussed?

Q.  You mentioned that it's very difficult to maybe scrub, as they say, the difference between teams in the six to nine range, for example.  In the Big East, Providence and Georgetown look a lot alike.  In the ACC maybe Notre Dame and Louisville look alike.  Can you expound on how you do differentiate when so many teams do look alike?
SCOTT BARNES:  Absolutely.
It really comes down to, as you move forward in the process, you're going to start looking more closely at certainly the full résumé.  But then you'll look more closely at head‑to‑head competition, common opponents.  Then as you're placing folks into the field, we'll be doing that through the week, you're looking at how those teams have done against the field as potential differential pieces to the entire equation.

Q.  Scott, you talked a little bit at the beginning about how unusual this is in terms of the top two lines.  You just mentioned that Kentucky seems at this point to be a pretty certain number one overall.  I'm curious, can you remember a time that you've gone into selection week where you had a number one overall pretty much in the bank?
SCOTT BARNES:  Not in my five years on the committee.  Again, there's going to continue to be jockeying for positions.  Those comments are based on where things sit today.
In my five years, this is unique in that there seems to certainly be some separation there.

Q.  Scott, one other thing about conference tournaments.  I'm wondering if you would recommend, I know you don't have any power on this, but recommend or it's better to have your finals on a Saturday to give the committee more time to consider whatever happens, any run to a championship or anything else?
SCOTT BARNES:  It is totally out of our control.
We as a committee, to a person, would love for all conference tournaments to end on Saturday, just giving us more time to put the big puzzle pieces together, if you will, that is bracketing.  Absolutely would love to have that happen.  It is at this point totally out of our control.
DAVE WORLOCK:  Thank you, everyone.  We'd like to remind you that Sunday night's teleconference will be 7 p.m. eastern, a different time from years past.  We'll have Scott's post‑selection teleconference with the media.  I'll send information about the call‑in numbers for that teleconference later in the week.
Have a great day.
SCOTT BARNES:  Thank you.

FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports

About ASAP SportsFastScripts ArchiveRecent InterviewsCaptioningUpcoming EventsContact Us
FastScripts | Events Covered | Our Clients | Other Services | ASAP in the News | Site Map | Job Opportunities | Links
ASAP Sports, Inc. | T: 1.212 385 0297