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WAC Adopts Seeding System for Basketball Tournaments

WAC Adopts Seeding System for Basketball Tournaments

DENVER – A resume seeding system will be used by the Western Athletic Conference (WAC) to determine how teams are seeded (men’s and women’s) at this year’s WAC Basketball Tournaments. An algorithm will rate performance against all teams faced in the regular season, not just conference play. That will rank teams for the conference postseason tournament.

“The beauty of what we have created is, we haven’t completely reinvented the wheel, we just smoothed out some of the edges with sandpaper. The way that we have done it is, our conference tournament is still a traditional conference tournament where it is winner take all or winner take the AQ,” said WAC Commissioner Brian Thornton. “All we have done is created a system where we seed based on your entire body of work instead of just 18 games.”

Thornton and WAC Associate Commissioner of Basketball Drew Speraw, worked with Ken Pomeroy of kenpom.com to put together this formula.

“This is an exciting new approach to conference standings. By accounting for both non-conference and conference achievement, the WAC will reward season-long performance and incentivize its best teams to challenge themselves in the non-conference schedule,” said Pomeroy.

Using this resume seeding system, teams will receive more credit by playing stronger opponents than if they play weaker opponents. This should help the WAC have higher NET rankings, a key-criteria used by the NCAA basketball selection committees.

“I would argue the best resume teams are what you are looking for, for the NCAA tournament, and also potentially for at-large consideration if they are having that kind of phenomenal year,” said Thornton. “Look at what we saw last year with New Mexico State. When you have the opportunity to get a quality seed in the tournament, a 12 seed or above, your ability and your chances of winning a game in the NCAA tournament grow exponentially.”

This past March, NM State earned a 12-seed in the NCAA Men’s Basketball Tournament and won their first-round matchup against Connecticut 70-63.

Using this resume seeding system, here is what the 2021-22 basketball standings look like:

 

Men’s Basketball Team    Reward  2021-22 Conference W-L
 NM State 6.81  14-4
 Grand Canyon 3.82  13-5 
Stephen F. Austin  3.53 14-4 
Seattle U  2.64  14-4 
Utah Valley  2.17  10-8 
Abilene Christian  0.96  11-7 
Sam Houston  -0.17  13-5 
California Baptist  -3.07  7-11 
Tarleton  -3.76  9-9 
Utah Tech -5.11 6-12 
UTRGV -9.22 3-15 
Chicago State -10.43 3-15 
Lamar -15.14 0-18 

 

Women’s Basketball Team  Reward    2021-22 Conference W-L
Stephen F. Austin 6.86 17-1
California Baptist 4.20 13-5
Grand Canyon 1.56 14-4
Utah Valley -2.88 10-8
Abiliene Christian -3.09 9-9
Sam Houston -3.62 9-9
Tarleton -3.88 8-10
Lamar -3.93 8-10
UTRGV -6.06 9-10
Seattle U -7.04 6-12
NM State -7.41 6-12
Utah Tech -8.54 6-12
Chicago State -11.79 3-15

 

Matt Norlander of CBS Sports wrote about this seeding concept you can read his article HERE

Also, Kendra Sheehan discussed this concept with Thornton. You can watch her story HERE

The goal is to put the WAC into position to earn higher NCAA tournament seeds and more at-large consideration. This concept was approved by the WAC Athletic Directors and Board of Directors to be implemented at the 2023 WAC Basketball Tournament in Las Vegas.

-WAC-