COOKEVILLE, Tenn. -- Tennessee Tech men’s basketball head coach Mike Sutton’s knowledge of the game of basketball has been proven over the course of his career both as a player and as a coach. His contributions to the sport are not limited to floor time though, as the NCAA continually recognizes Sutton’s ability as a basketball analyst as well.
For the third consecutive year, Sutton has agreed to serve as a voting member on the NCAA DI Regional Advisory Committee, becoming one of just five members of the 31-member committee to contribute for three consecutive years. The other four coaches include Scott Nagy (South Dakota State,) Rob Spivery (Southern U,) Jim Wooldridge (UC-Riverside) and Lon Kruger (UNLV).
As a voter, Sutton will submit three separate ballots, one in each of the months of January, February and March, ranking the top 15 teams in the South region, that which includes the Atlantic Sun, Big 12, Big South, Southeastern, Southern, Southland, Southwestern Athletic and Sun Belt conferences in addition to Tech’s own Ohio Valley Conference.
The ballots received from all four regions will then be used by the NCAA DI Men’s Basketball Selection Committee to determine the field of now-68 teams that will participate in the 2011 NCAA Tournament in March.
“I am glad to serve on the Committee again, I think it is good to have coaches advising the selection group during the season as it helps the Committee identify those teams that are worthy of an at-large selection for the tournament,” Sutton said. “The NCAA Selection Committee does a tremendous job with an extremely difficult task in selecting the participants, and they want to do the best possible job for the event that is the primary source of revenue for the NCAA,” he continued.
“Even with the expansion to 68 teams, I think that they still want to make sure that they get the best teams from each conference, and the input from coaches throughout the season assists the Committee,” Sutton continued.
The evidence of Sutton’s insight was on paper – literally – last year, when all but two of the teams he had ranked for the South region were immortalized on the 2010 bracket.