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Tourney at-large teams chosen

The NCAA selection committee normally has made its 37 at-large selections by Saturday, but this year the committee went public.

NCAA committee chair Jeff Hathaway said on CBS on Saturday that the committee has made its 37 at-large selections. An NCAA spokesperson confirmed this Saturday night. But it's not considered "strange at all,'" since the committee has been working on the selection of teams since Wednesday, when it conducted its first round of voting, according to the spokesperson.

Based on media mock sessions, leaving all the at-large selections until Sunday wouldn't give the committee enough time to make the selections.

But the NCAA spokesperson said from Indianapolis that the 37 at-large selections include teams that could end up being automatic qualifiers through their conference tournaments. That means there could be additional at-large teams to fill those slots, according to the spokesperson.

The NCAA wouldn't name the schools. But that could mean bubble teams playing Saturday were already selected into the at-large pool since they had a chance to automatically qualify out of their conference. Teams that may have fit that criteria playing Saturday were NC State (ACC), Xavier (A-10), Arizona (Pac-12) and Marshall, which lost to Memphis -- now a lock -- in the Conference USA title game early Saturday.

According to the NCAA's principles and procedures, the charge of the selection committee is to select the 37 best teams to fill in the at-large berths.

The 10-member committee started the week in Indianapolis with a first ballot of how many teams should be in the field, regardless of whether they are an at-large selection or automatic qualifier.

Then the committee puts together a list of teams that should be considered. The committee continues a voting pattern, moving teams into the field in groups of eight.

Once the field is set, the committee will work on a seed list, or ranking the teams from 1 to 68. There are slots available to move teams in and out of this list, based on some late results Saturday and Sunday.

The committee then brackets the field, dealing with a number of logistical problems with geography and attempting to avoid rematches in the first two rounds or conference opponents against each other, unless the number of teams exceeds nine from one league (like last year with the Big East), where it can be impossible to avoid.

Bracketing is the last thing the committee does on Sunday afternoon before its self-imposed 6 p.m. ET deadline.