From CBS Sports / Turner / TruTv –


2012 NCAA Division I Men’s Basketball Championship begins Tuesday, March 13, and Wednesday, March 14, with NCAA First Four™ on truTV presented by Northwestern Mutual


Talent: Host Greg Gumble, Analysts Charles Barkley, Kenny Smith, Greg Anthony and Seth Davis and Division I Men’s Basketball Committee Chairman Jeff Hathaway and Mike Bobinski, who will become committee chair for the 2012-13 season

Barkley on any surprises tied to the No. 1 selections: “No, I thought Carolina was a lock the whole time. I didn’t think Ohio State was a No. 1. I thought it was between (University of) Missouri and Michigan State.”

Barkley on his sleeper in the West region: “Memphis is my sleeper in this region. They are terrific across the board.”

Hathaway on the strength of Missouri’s schedule earning them a No. 2 seed:  “From the committee standpoint, that is a determining factor. We have tremendous respect for Missouri and what they did but the fact of the matter is that they didn’t stretch themselves very much on non-conference scheduling.”

Bobinski on Missouri’s seeding: “We talked about Missouri at great length, tremendous year, great team. We did not ever envision them as a No. 3 seed. They have clearly achieved at that level (of a No. 2 seed). At that point, strength of schedule becomes a distinguishing point.”

Bobinski on his criteria for selecting teams: “Road wins are a big thing for me. I like to see teams that are willing to challenge themselves away from home. Teams that would take a chance really make a difference.”

Bobinksi on what differentiated Iona from other teams: “At the end of the day, we felt Iona made a strong effort to schedule aggressively; they performed well against that schedule. In their league, they were a dominant team throughout, they were aggressive. In general, they were a very good team during the course of the year. I think they are going to hold up pretty well in the tournament.”

Hathaway on Seton Hall not being selected for this year’s tournament: “Seton Hall had a very solid year; they had a tough stretch at the end of the year. At the end of the day, they were a quality team but we knew some quality teams weren’t going to be a part of the 37.”

Bobinski on Western Kentucky being selected as No. 68: “When you talk about a team like Western Kentucky, we have a committee that takes a look at teams on that last seed line. We met Thursday, Friday, Saturday and Sunday morning to make sure we had those teams [on the last seed line] as right as we possibly could. Getting the seed right is really a critical effort. We spend a lot of time and effort making sure to put those teams in the right place.”

Hathaway on selecting North Carolina State for the tournament: “They had some good wins, they beat Miami twice. They got better as the season went on and continued that into the (conference tournament).”

Hathaway on transitioning teams from the seed list to the brackets: “There is a lot to be said about the seed list. The first thing to keep in mind is that we operate off a true seed list. When we get to bracketing, particularly in the first four lines, there is movement in the seed list. We try to minimize it, but there are a wide range of bracket principles that affect how those teams go into the bracket.”

Hathaway on what teams seeded 17-33 could do to move up in the future: “You have to be more aggressive in the scheduling. A wide range of schools are reaching out and they schedule very aggressively. Keep in mind; coaches have to figure out what’s best for their program given the talent that they have and what they can face.”

Bobinski on how to schedule effectively: “There is a fine line between scheduling aggressively and scheduling over your head. You have to be smart and creative; finding your way into preseason events that you wouldn’t get on your campus. You will see a lot of schools have chosen that way to find quality games.”


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