Why Cinderella Stories Like Loyola-Chicago Are So Rare
The NCAA selection committee makes it tough for non-powerhouse schools to earn an at-large bid.
As eleventh-seeded Loyola-Chicago prepares for the Final Four, The Ringer’s Rodger Sherman has written a plea to the NCAA selection committee to be kinder to mid-majors. Over the last 10 years, the number of non-powerhouse conference teams receiving at-large tournament bids has decreased dramatically. The reason is two-fold: the selection committee heavily weighs quality of competition, putting non-major teams at a disadvantage, and mid-majors who excel in the tournament tend to then be added to major conferences. These factors are a symptom of the NCAA and the tv networks’ belief that national audiences prefer to watch the big schools in March, not unknowns. As Sherman argues, the impressive ratings garnered by Cinderella’s like Loyola-Chicago demand that the NCAA rethink its selection strategy.
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