As great of an event as the NCAA Tournament has become, it feels like they can’t just stop messing with it. This year, they’re changing some of the rules they use to bracket teams.
At least they’re not adding new teams.
The changes effect mostly the major conferences, at least any conference that gets two teams into the tournament. But there could be a bit of a trickle down effect.
In short, there are fewer rules against teams from the same conference being bracketed in a way to keep from playing each other. Depending on how many times teams met during the regular season, conference foes could meet as soon as the third (read: second) round.
What this means is fewer cases of a true three seed being pushed to a four or possibly even a five seed because of the Big East putting eight teams into the tournament.
So the trickle down effect is pretty clear: A 13-seed is more likely to get a true four seed, instead of a team that should be ranked much higher. Of course, this also lowers the chances of getting a team that should have been a five seed and bumped up.
Another rule that could affect the OVC is a more “relaxed” rule that could allow rematches from the regular season in the first and second rounds.
Overall, the impact is minimal for smaller conferences. Honestly, the impact in minimal all-around, although watching the ACC face off against each other in the round of 32 could be entertaining.
Read more: Details on how the bracketing works