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Jim Delany says tournament expansion is "probable"


PrivateO

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The watered-down tournament field is going to create some really lame 1st Round matchups. I foresee half-empty arenas for some of them...not sure if that's going to help the NCAA and its school's bottom line as much as they think it will. But the people with the most voice in the matter all seem to want it' date=' so I guess those of us who like it the way it is will either live with it or watch something else.

About the only potential good I could see coming from this is if some of these bigger conferences, like the ACC, SEC, Big 12, ditch their conference tournaments (since they'd become meaningless anyway) and go to full round-robin schedules instead. Then you'd be guaranteed that the most deserving team will be crowned champion.[/quote']

That's an interesting thought, but that's 22 conference games in the ACC, and 30 in the Big East.

I don't think that's likely, especially since it would the extra week/weekend would be taken up by the new early round of the NCAA tournament.

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That's an interesting thought, but that's 22 conference games in the ACC, and 30 in the Big East.

I don't think that's likely, especially since it would the extra week/weekend would be taken up by the new early round of the NCAA tournament.

Maybe not. After all, the lower-level conferences still need to have their tournament...so maybe some of the higher-rated ones could use that time to squeeze in a couple extra regular season games. But most of the bigger conferences would still have to convince their schools to drop some non-conference games as well to fit in a full round-robin. As for the Big East, hopefully for them the impending conference expansion for football will present them with a good opportunity to restructure for basketball and maybe jettison some dead weight....16 teams is just ridiculous.

Back to your original point though, I suppose the NCAA could also mandate that with the expanded field there will be no conference tournaments, and that each conference's champion (and automatic bid) will be determined by the standings after the last weekend in February.

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Maybe not. After all' date=' the lower-level conferences still need to have their tournament...so maybe some of the higher-rated ones could use that time to squeeze in a couple extra regular season games. But most of the bigger conferences would still have to convince their schools to drop some non-conference games as well to fit in a full round-robin. As for the Big East, hopefully for them the impending conference expansion for football will present them with a good opportunity to restructure for basketball and maybe jettison some dead weight....16 teams is just ridiculous.

Back to your original point though, I suppose the NCAA could also mandate that with the expanded field there will be no conference tournaments, and that each conference's champion (and automatic bid) will be determined by the standings after the last weekend in February.[/quote']

Why would only the smaller schools have tournaments? And why would the ACC, the most important conference with the oldest tournament, drop it?

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Why would only the smaller schools have tournaments? And why would the ACC, the most important conference with the oldest tournament, drop it?

To increase their chances of getting more than one team in the NCAAs. As it is now, most of the lower-level conferences get one team in, no matter who it is. If a team that spent the regular season at the bottom half of the standings suddenly gets hot for one weekend and wins their tournament, they go to the NCAAs and the team that was the best throughout the season stays home. But with an expanded NCAA tournament, if that happens maybe the Tournament Committee gives a lot more consideration to taking the regular season champion as well. I think that scenario is more likely than them taking the second place team from the regular season if there is no conference tournament.

As for the ACC....they screwed the pooch on basketball tradition when they expanded to 12 teams, so the ACC Tournament would just become a farce anyway. Why not add more legitimacy to the regular season standings by playing more conference games?

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The NCAA is horrible. Yeah, leave the playoff system that is horribly flawed and change the one that is perfect. I'll be more upset than I was when the ACC expanded to 12 teams. I'm not sure I'll be able to hack college basketball when I sit back and realize how much they've butchered things the last decade.

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I would assume in 1984, when they expanded from 48 to 64, many people probably complained too. People don't deal with change very well.

Believe me, we'll all still be on the edge of our seats.

I am not a fan of byes in the tournament, so I was perfectly fine with the 48 to 64 expansion. I would loathe the idea of a 128-team tournament, but that's what it would take to eliminate byes.

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There are two things I think would be interesting if they did go to an expanded tournament.

1) Where do they play the games? Do they add an additional group of arenas in new locations (C'mon, First Mariner! Daddy needs a new tetanus shot!)? Or would they do something else like hold games in the home arenas of the higher-seeded team, NIT-style?

On that same note...

2) Do they just dump the NIT altogether? It has the tradition and The Garden, but as the quality of the teams involved gets worse and worse, and New York falls further and further from being the basketball capital of the nation, does the NCAA finally shut it down altogether?

As an off-shoot of both points, maybe what they should do is this:

Take the 31 conference champions (yes, including all the little conferences) and the top at-large school and give those 32 the first-round bye.

The remaining 64, all at-larges, are seeded by regions and play one game at the higher-ranked school's arena. This is both the first round of the NCAA Tournament and the NIT.

The 32 winners, by their regions, are then re-seeded with the bye teams and play goes on as today.

The 32 losers go in the "consolation bracket" of the NIT.

This way you get something for winning your conference (as well as being the best team to NOT win your conference). At-larges are guaranteed at least two games, whether NCAA or NIT. Lesser-conference teams aren't automatically penalized with a low seed and a likely first-round exit; they get the prestige of a bye.

Why would this not work?

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I COMPLETELY don't understand the "more is always better" argument made by beaner and others. Using this logic, why don't they just let all the teams in and have a 300 team tournament?

Limiting the tournament to 64 teams isn't excluding potential championship teams (this isn't like football, where only 2 teams are picked to play for the championship). As a result, by adding 32 more mediocre teams, you're (1) diluting the quality of play in the tournament; and (2) significantly devaluing the regular season. Number 2 is more important, and significant, because the tournament is already single elimination, meaning a team can have a great regular season, have one bad game, and be finished (see: Kansas). While this is not a bad thing on its own, it doesn't suggest that we should make the regular season even more irrelevant by significantly lowering the bar for inclusion in the NCAAs.

Finally, the thing about the NCAA tournament that is so great is its simplicity. 64 teams, 6 rounds, single elimination, winner is the last team left standing. The play-in game already complicated this slightly. But as soon as you expand, and start including byes, etc, it will completely ruin the simplicity/purity of the current setup.

The only people this change would benefit are the coaches (more can say they made the tournament) and the NCAA/TV/sponsors (more games = more money). It's not a surprise that these 2 groups are the plan's biggest supporters. They've actually been pretty transparent and shameless that this is the driving motivation, and not an attempt to improve the quality of the tournament or the experience for fans. That's part of why (in addition to all the reasons above) I'm surprised that fans could consider this change a good one.

If the change goes through, I'll obviously still watch the tournament and I'm sure it'll still work okay, but I definitely will be disappointed and think that the tournament won't be as great as it is now.

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