Wednesday, June 28, 2006

From 65 to 128?!?!

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.


Piccu said...

I couldn't agree more. The NCAA cannot expand the b-ball tourney and roll out that tired excuse about all the class time the football players would miss as part of a playoff style tourney. We all know money is and will always be the driving force behind everything they do.

The NCAA tourney is fine the way it is and I have no problem dropping the dead weight that is bottom feeding "super" conference teams and letting in more mid majors. Say what you will about mid majors, but the biggest story this year wasn't Florida winning the NCAA championship, it was George Mason's improbable run. You can bet that if George Mason had made the final, CBS and the NCAA would have been extremely pleased with the ratings.

This does not mean we will have a George Mason like run from a mid major every year, but the more teams like them that get a chance, the better the chance this becomes a once a year or once every other year type of thing.

By the by, we have got to stop agreeing like this, it is going to ruin the blog.

Ben said...

I totally agree, this isnt there to help small schools. Everything is money driven, more well known schools equals more money. Granted it would help teams like WKU who are on the cusp the last couple of years but in the long run it just has trouble written all over it.

BRATCH said...

You know why this won't happen? Because you can't fit a 128 team bracket on one piece of paper. And therefore, filling out brackets will be a whole lot like work.