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Tuesday, April 16, 2024
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Selection Sunday, Transfer Portal Monday: An Extra Layer of Madness As Players Flood the Portal

  • Players are headed for the transfer portal just hours after Selection Sunday ended.
  • The quick turnaround is hectic for players and coaches in March Madness, NIT, and neither.
Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports

Just a few hours after CBS’s Selection Show ended, the college basketball transfer portal opened for business, with some schools processing transfer requests barely after midnight

On the men’s side, players from Maryland, Miami, and Stanford are among nearly 300 transfers who have, as of Monday morning, declared for the portal. About half of them let their school know their decision since the portal opened, per tracking by Verbal Commits. On the women’s side, more than 215 players have declared for the portal, according to The Next.

It’s the second year the transfer portal has had an official open date on the Monday immediately following Selection Sunday. For football, the portal opens the Monday after FBS conference championships—essentially the same schedule as men’s basketball, although football’s Saturday games give an extra day in between. In all other fall, winter, and spring sports, the transfer portal doesn’t open until a full week after championship selections are made, giving players and coaches a bit more breathing room.

Last season, more than 175 transfers entered the men’s portal on the first day, per 247Sports. Now that transfers are allowed to speak directly with collectives during the recruiting process (because NCAA name, image, and likeness rules are currently void), that number could be even higher.

In October, the Division I committee approved a reduction of the duration the transfer portal  remains open from 60 days to 45. The change puts a bit more pressure on coaches to move quickly to grab players for next year, all while trying to navigate the postseason.

The transfer portal also has impacts on the National Invitation Tournament, similar to football bowl games that have started to mean much less when players opt out. Going to the NIT diverts attention from the portal both for players who need to start shopping and for coaches who need to start recruiting.

And for some coaches and players, it might make more sense to prioritize acting early on the transfer portal over continuing deeper into the postseason. Teams like St. John’s, Pittsburgh, and Oklahoma that declined an NIT invitation aren’t just sticking it to the NCAA, but they are getting a head start on scouting new players for next year. It will be a challenge for teams who did make the NCAA tournament, especially smaller ones, to keep one eye on their game plan and the other on the transfer portal.

Most obviously, the portal opening today adds an extra serving of chaos to an already hectic week in college sports. As Fox Sports college basketball reporter John Fanta wrote on X (formerly known as Twitter), “It’s an absolute travesty that the transfer portal in college basketball opens [Monday]. It takes away from literally the best week of the year in the sport. At least give it a week and let the tournament have our undivided attention.”

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