The basketball coaches of the NCAA will meet this weekend to discuss expanding the NCAA tournament field from 65 to 128 teams. That’s genius.
The NCAA has proven time and time again that it loves to screw up things that work well. But I’m not going to spend time today talking about that. Instead I want to harp on the hypocrisy of the NCAA.
This is, I remind you, the same institution that claims a national playoff to determine its division one football champion would keep kids out of the classroom for too long. (while every other NCAA football division competes in the playoff format.) Now these coaches are saying that expanding the NCAA by another week or two won’t hurt? These kids start playing in November and don’t finish now until April. So finishing deeper into April or even in May is ok?
What’s the motivation for expanding the field? George Mason. Well kiddos, if you believe expanding the NCAA tournament to nearly twice its size is all about getting more opportunities for schools like George Mason then I’ve got some beautiful ocean front property in McLean County for you.
What they’re talking about is getting in MORE teams from the Big East. MORE teams from the ACC. MORE teams from the SEC, from the Pac-10, from the Big 10, and from the Big 12.
Sure, if you expand to 128 you pretty much would have to get schools like GMU and Hofstra in. But that’s not the primary motivation. The primary motivation is from people like Billy Donovan, the coach of National Champion University of Florida. Donovan claimed recently that South Carolina’s winning the NIT for the second year in a row proves they should have been in the NCAAs. Problem is, USC doesn’t do ANYTHING until they reach the NIT. Thus they were 18-15 (6-10) in the regular season and the SEC tournament before winning five in a row to take the NIT crown.
On the surface, this can’t happen. You have to think cooler heads prevail and we realize the idiocy and hypocrisy of this concept. But this is the NCAA. The masters of disaster. The architects behind the BCS. The geniuses behind aluminum bats in baseball. The creators of the “Play-In Game” in Dayton two days before the actual NCAA tournament begins in earnest.
If you think it can’t happen; if you think the NCAA and Myles Brand can’t ruin the single greatest tournament in the United States, then think again.