NCAA committee changes selection guidelines

Also, rules committee adds three rules for upcoming season.

A new ruling could make it more difficult for college basketball teams to make a final push to hear their names on Selection Sunday. The Division I MenâÄôs Basketball Committee announced they have removed the final 12 games of the basketball season from their âÄúselection toolbox,âÄù which is made up of various statistics and data the selection committee uses to help decide which at-large teams make the NCAA Tournament. In past years the final 12 games of the season were used by the selection committee to help gauge which teams ended the season playing the best basketball. Confusion and speculation that the final 12 games were given more credibility by the selection committee than the rest of the season led committee chairman Mike Slive to remove the final 12 games from the selection process entirely. âÄúParsing a particular segment of games and implying it had greater weight than others seemed misleading and inconsistent ,âÄù Slive said in a statement. âÄúThe removal of this reference avoids confusion in the room and brings our reporting in line with our process.âÄù The selection committee will still have many resources at its disposal, including computer rankings and statistics from all games played when it comes time to select at-large teams to join automatic qualifiers at the Big Dance. Game-play rule changes Three new rule changes are also being put in place for next season, including expanding the use of replay. After years of consideration, officials will now be able to go to monitors to review a fouling play to determine what degree penalty is assessed. The head official will go to the monitor and determine the severity of the foul given, and assess a flagrant foul, resulting in ejection, an intentional foul or technical foul. Dick Hack, chairman of the MenâÄôs Basketball Rules Committee , said this rule gives officials more leeway in determining the severity of the penalty to make sure the correct foul degree is called. âÄúYou go to the monitor and determined it wasnâÄôt flagrant, but it was an intentional foul,âÄù he said. âÄúThis way, you see something and can make the proper penalty.âÄù Another rule change being implemented next season intends to reduce the amount of contact underneath the basket. The area from the front of the rim to the front of the backboard is now restricted, meaning that a secondary defender cannot be in that area when guarding the basket. The reasoning behind this rule was brought about by numerous coaches complaining of frequent contact below the basket. The committee was originally planning on marking the restricted area on the court but NCAA regulations, which require a two-year notice to give schools time to mark the courts, led the committee to define the area in the rulebook without any markings. âÄúWe think we handled what coaches saw as a pretty big problem, which is collisions under the basket and flopping,âÄù Hack said. âÄúIt might need some adjustments in the future, but we all felt very strongly that it was a good thing we have done to put in place.âÄù The final rule regards substitution of free throw shooters. This issue gained publicity during last yearâÄôs NCAA tournament, when Missouri substituted one of its best free-throw shooters into the game for an injured player to hit eventual game-winning free throws against Marquette. In the new rule, if a player is injured and unable to shoot free-throws, the opposing coach then picks from among the four remaining players on the court to attempt the free throws. Hack said these new rules are intended to maintain the high level of play in menâÄôs basketball. âÄúIf there is a common theme amongst the rules that we pass, itâÄôs that it somewhat protects the element of sportsmanship,âÄù he said. âÄúWeâÄôre keeping an eye on things, and this is just one way of doing it.âÄù