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NCAA & CBS Determined To Ruin Selection Sunday With Bracket Preview Show

We all saw this one coming, didn’t we?

NCAA Men's Final Four - Previews Photo by Streeter Lecka/Getty Images

After two years of College Football Playoff week by week ranking reveals and a test pilot program for women’s college basketball on Monday night, the NCAA kicked off Tuesday morning by announcing that they will partner with CBS for a men’s basketball tournament bracket preview show on February 11th.

Goddammit.

Here’s the rundown of the 30 minute long show, which will serve as a lead-in to CBS’ broadcast of Kentucky/Alabama:

Leading off the show, the bracket with the Committee’s top 16 seeds as of Feb. 11 will be revealed. [NCAA Men’s Basketball Chair & Michigan State athletic director Mark] Hollis, along with host Greg Gumbel and analysts Clark Kellogg and Seth Davis, will discuss the selection and seeding process as well as the reasoning behind the Committee’s first-ever in-season bracket preview.

Noted bracketologist Jerry Palm also will join Gumbel, Kellogg and Davis later in the show to project out the entire 68 team bracket, analyze the field, discuss bubble teams and highlight key story lines heading into March.

So Hollis will give an official 16 team list, and then Jerry Palm will give an unofficial 68 team list, and I’m sure that won’t confuse anyone, especially when Palm uses a commercial break to make his top four seeds in each region match the teams that Hollis just announced.

Ok, look. This is dumb. The CFP show is dumb and was proven to be dumb the very first year when they switched a team out of the top four in the final week for no reason whatsoever. The women’s basketball show on Monday night was dumb even when they announced it back in November. This show will also be dumb. Even Mark Hollis can’t pretend it’s not dumb.

“It’s important to recognize after this list has been released, there is still a significant portion of the regular season to be played and every league must stage its conference tournament. There’s potential for quite a bit of movement until we do it for real March 12, but this early peek will give everyone insight as to where the committee stands as we hit the stretch run of the regular season.”

In other words, none of this means anything, it’s all probably going to be drastically different in four weeks, but we’re going to do it anyway because college football drew RATINGZ with it.

Stealing ideas from a ridiculous sport that can’t figure out that New Year’s Eve is a bad night to play football games is probably a poor decision.

The incredibly ridiculous part about all of this is that they’re doing it with a push from college basketball coaches.

I don’t get why coaches want to get an in-season update on the bracket. 1) Anyone following the sport has a reasonably solid idea of whether or not a team is likely to make the NCAA tournament or not by the time February rolls around. 2) Anyone following the sport can identify 16 teams that are stone cold locks to make the NCAA tournament on February 11th. That’s all this show is going to announce. It would literally take a season ending injury to a star player followed by nothing but losses to keep any of these 16 teams out of the tournament. 3) This show is going to take place around mid-day on a Saturday when roughly 70% of the coaches in the country are busy prepping for a game that day so it’s not like they’re going to find out until after their game..... and after all of the other games of the day..... which will immediately make the whole thing outdated anyway. 4) This one is probably the most important reason this show is a terrible idea. Ready? BracketMatrix.com is a thing. It’s an aggregation of 79 different bracket projections from all corners of the internet compiled into an average bracket. Type in the URL, Control+F, type in your team’s name. BOOM, got an idea of where you stand. This isn’t hard, people.

Actually, for fun, let’s do this. Here’s Bracket Matrix’s top 16 teams right now, after an update on Monday night.

Villanova, Kansas, Baylor, Kentucky, Gonzaga, Florida State, North Carolina, Arizona, UCLA, Butler, Louisville, Oregon, Creighton, Virginia, Notre Dame, and Duke.

There’s a record of the average bracket projection right now. How many of those teams are in the committee’s top 16 in 18 days? Let’s set the over/under at +/- 14.5, only because Creighton’s a question mark without Maurice Watson. Anyone want the under?

We’ll see exactly how pointless this seeding announcement show is on February 11th at 11:30am Central on CBS.