For head of NCAA basketball committee, bracket time starts now

WASHINGTON (AP)- Five months from now, Tom O’Connor will go on national television and explain why some bubble teams made the NCAA basketball tournament while others didn’t. For many disappointed fans, he’ll be the face of the big bad organization that has their team on the way to the NIT.

Given such a weighty task, he’s getting a head start on his brackets.

The athletic director at George Mason University is the new chairman of the Division I men’s basketball committee, a dream job of sorts that will consume about 80 percent of his time once the season begins.

“You have to start being prepared now,” O’Connor said Tuesday at a luncheon for reporters four days before the official start of practice. “Some of us have to get our schedules in order, for travel and whatnot. It is a commitment, but it’s a labor of love.”

O’Connor will spend his weeks traveling around the country, seeing as many games as possible. There’s a 2