NAIA announces tourney structure under consolidated D1 and D2 basketball

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    NAIA announces tourney structure under consolidated D1 and D2 basketball

    The NAIA national basketball tournaments will have smaller fields at the final sites when the transition from two divisions to one takes effect in the 2020-21 academic year. The National Administrative Council finalized approval of a men's and women's basketball postseason tournament format which will include 64 qualifiers, 16 four-team opening rounds and a 16-team final site tournament.

    Follow this weblink to the announcement of this decision:
    NAIA decides on smaller final sites for one-division basketball tournaments | College | siouxcityjournal.com

    This decision is disappointing to many NAIA basketball fans. There is no question that this is a bean counter decision. A recent article by John McCarthy of Small College Basketball best expresses the disappointment of long term NAIA tournament fans. His full article is very much worth the read and can be found at this weblink:

    The Historical NAIA Tournament - News

    Here is his key message:

    " ...This is America’s most historical, longest-running National Championship. The tournament format was decided by Dr. James Naismith, Emil Liston and Frank Cramer. The format is what made the NAIA unique and special.

    What happens to College Basketball’s Toughest Tournament? What happens to 32 teams. 31 games. One Week.

    Basketball historians and basketball junkies and coaches and so many people that sincerely care about our game……well, they are crushed. Devastated. The NAIA Coaches voted unanimously to keep the format the same. The NAC didn’t listen."
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    Wireman's Avatar
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    This is garbage.

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    Don't see how this is gonna work. Just combining the 2 divisions is gonna crush the d2 schools chances of a championship for a long time coming. And the tournament- if the NCAA played the tournament like the NAIA does, well I think you'd see who the "men" in the sport are.

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    PurplePride92's Avatar
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    I’m on the fence. I understand the traditionalist aspect of it but don’t the D2 schools get more money for scholarships now as a result? Why is the NAC strongarmming this through.

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    Quote Originally Posted by #99 View Post
    Don't see how this is gonna work. Just combining the 2 divisions is gonna crush the d2 schools chances of a championship for a long time coming. And the tournament- if the NCAA played the tournament like the NAIA does, well I think you'd see who the "men" in the sport are.
    I understand They are doing away with the 2 divisions in the 20-21 season, guess they are just getting started on the new tourney format sooner?

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    Wireman's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by PurplePride92 View Post
    I’m on the fence. I understand the traditionalist aspect of it but don’t the D2 schools get more money for scholarships now as a result? Why is the NAC strongarmming this through.
    A coach told me that it still hurts most D2 schools (such as Alice Lloyd, Asbury, etc.) because they are capping the scholarship limit at 9 (I think it was). That's less than D1 schools have now, but it's more than most D2 schools can financially support.

    So in other words, they will be on level terms as far as scholarship limits, but not financial backing.

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    PurplePride92's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Wireman View Post
    A coach told me that it still hurts most D2 schools (such as Alice Lloyd, Asbury, etc.) because they are capping the scholarship limit at 9 (I think it was). That's less than D1 schools have now, but it's more than most D2 schools can financially support.

    So in other words, they will be on level terms as far as scholarship limits, but not financial backing.
    Gotcha. Thanks for the clarification. Joe Krupinski told us it was going to happen but I was never sure how he felt about it. He told us the facts of it. I like what they are doing at Midway. They should be in great shape if they can accomplish their goals for the school.

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    I have evaluated the 2016, 2017 and 2018 NAIA D1 and D2 basketball tournaments to better understand the conferences the qualifiers come from. I have found that history shows so many Conferences can completely fill a 4-Team Region. While this may be consistent with the objective of controlling travel and lodging costs, it leads to more than half of the 4-Team Regions simply becoming a re-play of Conference Tournaments. I suggest that this re-play of Conference Tournaments is not an acceptable result and will be viewed negatively by the individual Teams and the Conferences.

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    I have shared my analysis and recommendations with the NAIA Athletic Directors Association and with the NAIA National Administrative Council, the council that has the authority to make all decisions related to the consolidation of NAIA D1 and D2 including the tournament restructure. Because of the issue that more than half of the 16 4-team regions would simply become re-plays of Conference Tournaments, I recommended the following:
    (1) the Men's and Women's 64 team fields be based on automatic qualifiers as established by each Conference (currently 36 automatic qualifiers over both Divisions) and at-large qualifiers based solely on Massey rankings (28 remaining positions to fill out the 64-team field.
    (2) the 64-team fields be seeded solely based on their Massey rankings and distributed in the standard manner across the first round of the 64-team tournament bracket.

    My analysis of 2016, 2017 and 2018 shows that these recommendations would cause minimal disruption of participating teams, participation by Division and participation by Conference. For example, in 2018 and 2017 there would be 34 D1 teams and 30 D2 teams in rather than 32 teams from each Division. In 2016 there would be 30 D1 teams and 34 D2 teams rather than 32 teams from each Division. The recommended approach replicates the actual automatic qualifiers so the difference is due to higher Massey ranked at-large teams replacing lower ranked at-large teams that made the actual field.

    While this recommended approach does not maximize the objective of saving travel and lodging costs, it still provides the opportunity to achieve savings. For example, the Council could negotiate 8 site contracts for first and second round games with 2 teams advancing from each site to the final site. Once the standard bracket is established the Council could assign each 8-team segment to a site based on the best travel fit of the geography for those 8 teams.

    Alternatively, the Council could negotiate 4 site contracts for first and second round games with 4 teams from each site advancing to the final site. Once the standard bracket is established the Council could assign 2 8-team segments to a site based on the best travel fit of the geography.

    If the issue of re-plays of Conference Tournaments leads the Council to re-consider the format of 16 4-team regions and replace it with standard 64-team bracket based on my recommendations, I further recommended that the Council reconsider the 16-team final site. Based on the survey data of men's and women's coaches and athletic directors, the historical 32-team final site is strongly preferred. Based on fan comments on the internet, the 32-team final site also is strongly preferred by fans.

    I have alot more analysis than I can report in a message. If you have a specific question, I can report how my findings address that question.

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    Thanks for the info

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