NEW YORK (AP) — The selection committee for the NCAA men's basketball tournament is getting into the bracketology business and borrowing an idea from the College Football Playoff, hoping it will get more fans thinking about March Madness in February.
The NCAA and CBS Sports announced Tuesday that for the first time the committee will give a look at its top 16 seeds one month before the 68-team field locks in on March 12.
The top four teams in each region will be revealed on Feb. 11 during a March Madness preview show on CBS. It's the first time the men's basketball selection committee has revealed its thinking during the season, giving teams an idea beyond outside rankings of where they stand heading into the tournament.
Bracketology, the art and science of projecting the final tournament field, has become a staple of college basketball coverage for media outlets. During the final month of the season, prognosticators are updating their brackets daily.
Now the committee will reveal their thinking, too — though only at the top of the field. The 68-team field consists of 36 at-large teams and 32 conference champions who automatically qualify.
Committee head Mark Hollis, the athletic director at Michigan State, is scheduled to take part in the reveal show.
"We are excited about giving the fans a glimpse to what the men's basketball committee is thinking at this point of the season, and creating a buzz as we look towards Selection Sunday," Hollis said in a statement.
The picks will come with plenty of games still to play, including conference tournaments.
"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," Hollis said.