It is the first time that the Jackrabbits have ever made the men’s NCAA Tournament and fans have analyzed and dissected where SDSU was seeded. The Collegian inquired about the selection process of the Jackrabbits and got a response from the NCAA men’s tournament associate director David Worlock about SDSU via email.
When asked about whether or not the Jackrabbits’ first-time status was a factor in the selection, Worlock responded: “The fact that South Dakota State had never been to the tournament was not a factor at all in the committee’s seeding process. Each team is judged independently, regardless of conference affiliation or past success.”
Some pointed to 13th-seeded Montana, who was listed higher one spot higher on the overall seed list than the Jackrabbits, despite playing in the statistically weaker Big Sky and finishing 31 spots behind SDSU in the Ratings Percentage Index (RPI).
“To [the] point about Montana, the strength of a conference (i.e. conference RPI) is not one of those factors. It is never considered by the committee,” Worlock stated.