ncaa tournament expanding to 96 teams
what do you guys think about this possibility? At first i was against it, but now i'm liking it the more i think about it.
First off, it get's rid of the pointless "play-in" game.
Secondly, it gives more teams that might have struggled during a portion of the season a chance to still get in as well as mid majors that maybe won their conferecne regular season, but then messed up in the conference tournament, to get in.
And to me, the most exciting part of March madness is the first week. I love the matchups and the upsets and watching the little guys get a chance and the overall crazy excitement of watching my bracket fall to pieces. This will add one more round and even more craziness.
Really, why not? Sure it takes a little away from the spirit of making the tournament and having that on your resume. And it cheapens the importance of the regular season. Those are legit concerns. But adding 31 more teams is not that big a deal.
This allows too many teams to me. I just think they should get rid of the play-in game and let that be the end of it. 96 teams is too many, I think the tourny is just fine except for the play-in. Alot of undeserving teams that have no chance of winning the title will be in, making the weeks longer and games more pointless.
When looking at it from the financial point of view, it makes total sense. Fans of crappy teams will shell out just as much money as a Duke fan to see their team PLAY IN THE NCAA TOURNAMENT.
I can totally visualize a 2-5% increase in ticket revenue. In addition, spillover effects will be much appreciated by the host cities as these fans of crappy teams will still need to rent a hotel and go to restaurants (and liquor stores, when their team loses). It'll be a slight boost to the economy in these cities. Maybe not as much the Saints to NO, but it'll be felt.
From a competitive standpoint, I like it as well. Gives teams that faltered during the season (sometimes to injury) a chance to redeem themselves in the eyes of their fans.
I guess the top 32 seeds would get byes for the first round right? Unless my math is way off I don't see how it would work otherwise. In NCAA football, there are 34 bowl games for 120 teams. That means over 50% of the schools in Div 1 get to play in a 'post season'. I think there are around 350 Div 1 basketball programs so having 96 in the tournament would be under 30%. Even if you throw in the NIT, it would still be around 40%. I don't think it would be a bad idea to expand.
The brackets would be a pain in the ass to fill out though!
Also, I heard that CBS has an option after this year in their contract to opt out of NCAA basketball. If the field went to 96, the extra week would cut into Masters play and CBS has the contract for that. Some other network would have to pick up the tourney coverage.
I think this is a horrible idea. Part of the fun of college basketball is speculating who is in and who is not. If you expand it that far it drops the drama and the level of competition. Does anyone really watch the play in game? Didnt think so and by making it a 96 team tourney you create a round of essentially play in games. No value added if I want to watch lesser competition I will watch the NIT.
Plus traditionally sweet 16 and elite 8 weekend is the most exciting round of the tourney IMO just does not add value, do you think that the 31 teams that don't make it this year (if expanded from 65 to 96) would even have a chance at winning the championship hell no.
At first I really liked the idea because I am a fan of a mid-major conference, the CAA, and a suggestion was the regular season champion gets an auto bid as well as the tournament champion gets an auto-bid giving both the regular season and conference tournament value. Though, you take lesser conferences like the NEC, MAAC, SoCon, MEAC, America East, etc. they don't have more than 1 team worthy of a bid, so to expand to 96 is ridiculous. You have the NIT (32 teams) and the now CBI and CIT which each have 16 teams that gives you a 128 teams eligible to play in a postseason. To play in the NCAA tournament means you did very well all season long, and that you deserved it. Some people have mentioned already that it would be easier for mid-majors, I disagree. The NCAA is trying to do expansion for more money having a mid-major school will not garner as much money as a major school, the NCAA would rather have the 10th best Big East team over the 2nd best team in the NEC or MAAC because it would garner more money.
I have done my own research on how many teams are "NCAA Tournament worthy" and it's about 70, so an expansion to 68 teams would be reasonable because no matter how much the NCAA expands there will be snubs always. Though, with 68 teams it would be the least amount of snubs as to 65 when there's around 5-6 snubs.