NCAA mulling copying college football mid-season seed TV show idea

Vice president for Division I men's basketball championships, Dan Gavitt. (USATSI)

My immediate fear, when I heard college football would be building a television show around its playoff rankings, was that college basketball would consider aping the idea.

So I wrote about it.

I practically begged the men's basketball committee to resist inevitable urges. The money, the TV time, the phony-baloney non-debates. It's not yet known if such pleas will prove worthwhile.

Because now we're finding out that, yessir, the men's basketball committee/NCAA is discussing taking the baton from college football (and remember, this is not really the NCAA/college football; it's the guys who ran the BCS, only now wearing newer suits and promoting a different attraction on the marquee) come late January or February.

Dan Gavitt, who is the head of the men's basketball committee, told USA Today there have been talks. Talks, I tell you! No. Please, no. Why talk? What good has ever come from talking about stuff? Here, let's just sit, be quiet, watch college basketball for the next four months and then meet in Indy, like always. Coolio?

Here's what Gavitt told USA Today: "We did talk about it and certainly have been monitoring what the football committee has been doing. Even going back to last year, before football started doing what they're doing, we had some ideas of possibly taking more steps with what I think has been a real good effort over the years in transparency in the process — additional things we could do in that regard, but also possibly take advantage, as the football committee has, of the promotional/marketing value of that as well. It's tricky because you've got to make sure to balance those two things. There's the integrity of the process that needs to be maintained."

It's like: Can we ever just let a great thing be a great thing? Why do we have to reasses and evaluate and needlessly tweak things? And in the name of chasing football?

Again: college basketball is not college football. They operate in different orbits. One sport does not need to be like the other to succeed, and copycatting from one doesn't translate to similar results for another.

More Gavitt to USA Today: "Some of the reaction the last couple of years of teams being surprised where they were seeded … that's where the thought process started for me. Are there things we can do that would better communicate what's the likeliness? Frankly, I didn't think there were a whole lot of very different seeds going in. There seemed to be consternation. If you were to do something along the way to be more transparent, maybe there would be a better understanding — maybe not acceptance — but an understanding that this didn't come out of left field."

You want transparency? Buzz? Real buzz? Nothing could create bigger buzz than letting a neutral party in the room to hear the debates and see what gets tossed into the stew. Media and fans have clamored for it for two decades. Telling you, NCAA: you announce that news mid-January, and not the top four seed lines, and it'll bring more positive/good discussion than any disposable/meaningless of-the-moment bracket discussion.

People enjoy being thrown by certain teams as certain seeds.

I hate to be os basic in repeating myself, but let's do this again. Please don't ruin Selection Sunday. It is perfect. Do not touch it, do not taint it by "releasing seed lines" before that day. Let's not follow in college football's way, which will probably be adjusted next year anyway. College football is not "gaining buzz" by the week. It's only reinforcing hollow talking points while bolstering unnecessary criticism -- and work -- for the committee.

The no-don't-do-it reviews from other writers are coming in already. And it's not just writers; go ahead and scan Twitter for reaction. Sports fans in general are not endeared to this.

We fought back hard, fast and heavy when the NCAA floated the idea of expanding the tournament to 96 teams. While this isn't nearly as drastic, it's equally unappealing and worthy of immediate protest.

CBS Sports Writer

Matt Norlander is a national award-winning senior writer who has been with CBS Sports since 2010. He's in his eighth season covering college basketball for CBS, and also covers the NBA Draft, the Olympics,... Full Bio

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