National Invitation Tournament
The annual National Invitation Tournament features the best college basketball teams that aren't invited to the NCAA Tournament. Here are the principles and procedures for how the 2006 National Invitation Tournament selection committee picked the teams and seeds.
There are three phases in the process:
I. Select 40 teams. II. Seed the teams. III. Place the teams into the bracket.
General Principles for Selection, Seeding and Bracketing
The NIT selection committee will abide by the following principles:
• At no point in the process shall a member vote for a team the individual has represented as a coach, athletics director or commissioner.
• All votes will be by secret ballot.
• Among the resources available to the committee are computer rankings, head-to-head results, chronological results, Division I results, non-conference results, home and away results, results in the last 10 games, polls and the coaches' regional advisory committee's rankings.
• The regular-season champion of any NCAA Division I conference (as determined by the conference's tie-break protocol) not otherwise selected to the NCAA Division I Men's Basketball Championship will secure an automatic qualification to the National Invitation Tournament.
• The committee shall select the best available teams to fill the NIT field.
• There is no limit on the number of teams the committee may select from one conference.
I. Principles for Selecting Teams
Procedures for Selecting At-Large Teams
1. Before selection weekend, each committee member will receive a ballot listing all eligible Division I teams in alphabetical order. On the ballot, each committee member shall identify not more than 40 teams that should be invited to the tournament based upon their successful play to date.
Each committee member will submit the ballot at a predetermined time after arrival for selection weekend.
2. A member should not vote for a team that has earned automatic qualification to the NCAA tournament, or is a conference's regular season champion.
3. Any team receiving all but one of the eligible votes on the ballot shall be moved into the tournament as an at-large selection.
4. The committee will form a "nomination board" consisting of an alphabetical listing of all teams that:
a. Received more than one vote in the initial ballot but did not receive enough votes on the ballot to the selection board, or
b. Did not receive more than one vote in the initial balloting, but subsequently was recommended by more than one member prior to closing initial nominations.
5. The process for creating the initial "nomination board" will be closed. However, once closed, a team may be added to the nomination board only if it receives more than two eligible votes. A team may be removed from the nomination board if it receives all but two of the eligible votes. Verbal nominations are permitted.
1. The committee will begin evaluating those teams on the nomination board.
2. Each committee member will submit a listing of the best eight teams from the nomination board to be added to the field.
3. Those teams receiving the most votes will comprise a pool of eight teams for the next ballot.
4. Committee members rank the eight teams on the ballot using a cross-country scoring system (i.e., the best team is valued at one point).
5. The four teams receiving the fewest points shall be added to the at-large field. The remaining four teams will be held for the next cross-country ballot.
6. Steps No. 2, 3, 4 and 5 will be repeated until all probable berths are filled.
7. If a team fails to be included among the four teams receiving the fewest points (Step No. 5) for two consecutive ballots, it shall be returned to the nomination board.
8. A team may be removed from the at-large field by a vote of all but two of the eligible voters. Such a team would be returned to the nomination board.
9. At any time during the process of selecting the teams, the committee may elect to begin seeding the teams.
10. At any time during the process, the chair may suggest that the committee begin considering teams that should be eliminated from the nomination board. The same voting procedures will be used.
11. At any time during the process, the chair may call for a cross-country vote of the teams remaining.
12. The chair has the option to revise from four to two the number of teams to be moved into berths per Procedure No. 5.
II. Principles for Seeding of Teams
1. The committee will create a "seed list" (i.e. rank of the teams 1 through approximately 56, to be determined by the chair.) The "seed list" is used as a reference to promote balance.
2. Once the "seed list" is established, it remains unchanged throughout the committee's deliberations in placing the teams into the championship bracket.
3. The bracket-placement principles adopted by the committee may preclude a team from being placed in its "true" seed (in accordance with the "seed list").
Procedures for Seeding the Teams
1. Each committee member lists the best eight teams from the at-large and automatic qualifier teams (i.e. the NIT field), not ranked in order, from teams that are in the tournament.
2. Committee members rank the top eight vote-getters from Step No. 1, using a cross-country scoring system.
3. The four institutions receiving the fewest points from the cross-country scoring are moved into the seed list in order.
4. The remaining four teams are held for the next cross-country ballot.
5. Each committee member lists the eight best teams remaining from the at-large and automatic qualifier teams (i.e. the NIT field). The top four vote-getters will join the four remaining teams on the next cross-country ballot.
6. Committee members rank the eight teams from Steps No. 4 and No. 5, using a cross-country scoring system.
7. The four teams receiving the fewest points are moved into the seed list in order.
8. Steps No. 4, 5, 6 and 7 are repeated until all the teams are seeded, 1 through 56 (or number designated by the chair), for the seed list.
9. After a team has been voted into the seed list, it may be moved to a different position on the seed list by a vote of all but two of the eligible voters.
10. The committee is not obligated to seed the lines in chronological order.
11. After determination of seeded teams taken in the NCAA Division I Men's Basketball Championship, the seed list will be revised (compressed) and the teams 1-40 will comprise the NIT field.
III. Principles for Placing Teams into Championship Bracket
1. The priority for the committee will be to achieve the best-possible competitive balance in each region, while placing teams as close to their areas of natural interest as possible.
2. Ten levels are established (i.e., the seeds, 1 through 10) in the bracket that transcend each of the four regions, permitting evaluation of four teams simultaneously on the same level.
3. Each of the first two teams selected from a conference shall be placed in different regions.
4. An institution may be moved one bracket line from its true seed line (e.g., from a No. 6 seed to a No. 7 seed) when it is placed in the bracket if necessary to meet the principles.
5. Conference teams shall not meet each other prior to the regional final unless a ninth team is selected from a conference.
1. A team moved out of its natural area will be placed in the next closest region when possible.
2. If possible, rematches of regular-season games should be avoided in the opening and first rounds.
Procedures for Placing the Teams into the Bracket
1. Place the No. 1 seeds on the board to establish the four regions.
2. Place the No. 9 seeds in each region closest to the No. 1 seeds.
3. Place the No. 10 seeds in each region closest to the No. 9 seeds.
4. Place the No. 2 seeds in each region closest to the No. 1 seeds.
5. Place the No. 7 seeds in each region closest to the No. 2 seeds.
6. Place the No. 8 seeds in each region closest to the No. 7 seeds.
7. Place the No. 3 seeds in each region closest to the No. 2 seeds.
8. Place the No. 6 seeds in each region closest to the No. 3 seeds.
9. Place the No. 4 seeds in each region closest to the No. 1 seeds.
10. Place the No. 5 seeds in each region closest to the No. 4 seeds.
11. Higher-seeded teams will host games as they advance, unless extenuating logistical circumstances (i.e., travel, lodging and/or facility availability or NCAA Championship guidelines) preclude such an opportunity.
12. Review the groups of fours to ensure adherence to the principles for seeding.