4096 team tournament. Heck yeah.
I've got $50 on Harrison County Waste Technology Career Development Center over Three Rivers Church Seminary Prepatory Institute.
I'm sure we all agree on a few things around here. To wit: USA #1. Love it or leave it. What makes America great, though? I think we'll all agree on this too: America derives 90% of its strength the NCAA men's basketball tournament. It's a fact. I read it on Bleacher Report. (The other ten percent comes from engineers on H1B visas.)
I was having a conversation with War Blog Eagle proprietor and NCAA tournament fanatic Jerry Hinnen yesterday in which we discussed the various and sundry ways in which expanding the NCAA tournament to 96 teams was an Al Qaeda plot to ruin America. In this conversation, Jerry expressed a hope that the "done deal" post Sports By Brooks threw up was a diabolical trial balloon to gauge reaction. It is then the patriotic duty of everyone with a platform via which to react to react.
This has been everyone's reaction. I haven't seen or heard one person, even in the depths of the contrarian internet or the murky fog of sports talk radio—where one guy suggested that Brandon Graham was a "second or third rounder" yesterday—who thinks the idea of expanding the NCAA tournament is anything other than evil. (I just found some on the Google now, which only goes to show that the Murray Chass was right about everything.) Some guy tweeted that the mere consideration of 96 teams is a harsh blow to this site's pet playoff proposal because it suggests the people in charge of things are soulless mercenaries who care about nothing but short-term dollars. It's hard to disagree.
Where are the crotchety old men? Rose Bowl curmudgeons, where are you in our hour of need? Oh. USA Today. Pac-10 commissioner Larry Scott, formerly the WTA commissioner:
"In professional tennis," he says, "the temptation to increase playing opportunities and go for the short-term economic value in adding tournaments led to significant dilution of value long term and other problematic side effects for the sport. One day, you wake up and realize that, while each expansion decision sounded good at the time, you have lost what was once so special. Once you go down that route, it's exceedingly difficult to put the genie back in the bottle."
Big Ten commissioner and college football playoff bete noire Jim Delany:
"I think nobody would disagree that the 65-team, three-week event … has worked," says Delany, a former chairman of the NCAA committee that runs the men's tournament. "You have David vs. Goliath. You have all sorts of internal story lines year in and year out. It's compelling. It's one of the great sports properties in the world.
"I have no problem with looking at expansion, whether it's small or big. I only say that issue is one that must be managed openly and transparently, (and) I have concerns that it's not." …
"We know, in the first round, you have a lot of David and Goliath (matchups)," Delany says. "What happens when it becomes largely David vs. David?"
What say you now, Orson, that it's Jim Delany taking up cape and shield to defend the nation from enemies within?
Finally, the Onion:
America #1. Love it or leave it. That means get out, men pushing for 96 team tournament. Get out.
4096 team tournament. Heck yeah.
I've got $50 on Harrison County Waste Technology Career Development Center over Three Rivers Church Seminary Prepatory Institute.
You mean to tell me you never saw 'Angels in the Outfield'? (Don't even tell me you didn't.) You're on! Those seminary boys can dunk like nobody's business. This will be the easiest money I've made in a while.
we can't come up with a 6-8 team NCAA football play-off? That is ridiculous.
If you can't stand behind our troops, stand in front of them
WOTS is that they have new uniforms, so they have to be considered a legit dark horse. NWRVC specializes in large animal veterinary medicine, so their mascot is some guy in a big rubber glove.
Obviously a 65-team tournament has been nothing short of perfect. But believe it or not but I'm not totally against the 96 team format IF 2 things happen:
1) They eliminate the NIT (which I believe is the sparkplug for this idea to begin with)
2) They make the bottom 64 teams "play-in" to the real first round of the tournament. This scenario would create more cinderellas and reward the top 32 teams for being good with one less game.
I don't think it would be a huge deal if they do this because it eliminates the most pointless tournament in the NIT and creates more cinderella possibilities in that any of 32 additional teams could get hot and pull off some upsets.
is precisely one of the things wrong with this terrible idea. At least right now a small team has some legitimacy to their presence in the tournament, despite the small chance they have of winning. Once there is 96 teams, there will be completely undeserving teams in the tourney--if they pull off an upset over a deserving team, the regular season is rendered completely pointless. A tournament has to balance the excitement of upsets with the need to reward teams that play well in the regular season--this idea completely takes that delicate balance and takes it "down to the river"
Wait... you're implying more than one "play-in" game is even possible? No, in that case, it just means the top 32 get a bye. Besides that, the tourney IS a play in for the next round.
This would just be one more way to make the first round of the tournament more unwatchable. Do any of you really tune into the play-in game? Even if you individually do, I think we can agree that the reason CBS doesn't give a shit enough to broadcast it is because of the meager interest in it. That abomination (how the NCAA justifies that game when no 16 seed has ever beaten a 1 seed, let alone when the 16 seed has to play an extra game to even get the chance to play the 1 seed, I will never understand) needs to die and any thoughts of an unmanageable and boring 96 team playoff with it.
Here's a suggestion: just shorten the regular season and allow all 300 or whatever teams to be in the tournament. You start the weekend after the Super Bowl and go from there. Is that something you'd be interested in?
there might be more David & Goliath stories in March with 96 teams than 64.
By adding another 32 teams with borderline winning records (what happens to the NIT?), maybe we'll see something ri-goddamned-diculous like an Albion College knocking off North Carolina or something. Chaminade over Virginia anyone?
OK, I know. The NCAA is trying to sell us some democracy and a sense of fairness to all schools, and the problem is that by March time the American public is yearning for something entirely different, namely Darwinism, "Survival of the Fittest" and the public humiliation of the arrogant - which a 64 team tournament already provided us in abundance.
Americans love to see the underdog win and the heavy favorite taken down a peg so we can collectively gasp "WTF?". It's Spud Webb over Dominique Wilkins for the NBA Slam Dunk contest. That kind of thing.
I prefer the more exclusive club of 64 teams, but with 96, there *might* more dramatic upsets, which is part of the appeal.
So yeah, I'll be cheering for Albion.
They need to realize the main reason that the whole march madness thing works is because of the brackets. All of the fringe basketball fans get sucked in because of their brackets and work pools and such. Nothing is more american than the receptionist who knows nothing about college basketball going 30/32 in the 1st round and upsetting the whole office because she has the lead and had no idea until she showed up for work on Monday. While you poured over the ESPN team bios and did nothing at work all week, submitted 2 brackets for your "sleepers" and you were still eliminated on Saturday night. This is the main reason this proposal will ultimately fail.
"is that what America is about, you do your best you get the job."
I'm also reminded of a comedian (forget who it is) who rants about how every kid now-a-days is told that they are special. It's bs, not everyone should get a medal for participating. This country used to be a great country but now it seems that everyone wants to be special and that these terms are just being thrown around.
Most kids aren't special, no one wants to hear that their kid is average or god forbid DUMB, but 90% of the people in this country cannot be above average because WTF is average?
i'd totally get up at 4:02 AM for Fred's Bartending School vs. Ferris State. CCHA pride and whatnot.
not to be contrarian here, but i kinda like the idea of expanding the tournament to all of division 1...there are - what? 330 teams? 350? adding one more weekend to the tournament gets us to 256 - you still pick 64 teams the way you do now, and those 64 get to host the first weekend. some of them host four teams, some get three.
like last season, we would have hosted, oh...let's say eastern washington, the citadel, and akron, to get to the 'real' tournament.
i don't have a problem with that - at the least it dispels all the should have / shouldn't have crap that we have to discuss for two days after selection sunday, and it puts an end to all the mediocre mid-majors complaining about not getting in...you really can't complain any more. win or else.
and it's not fundamentally any different than the "let's settle it on the field" stuff that gets trotted out in favor of a college football playoff. i guess i don't see the difference.
It's basically just practice!
"We talkin bout practice, it's not even a game! PRACTICE, WE TALKIN BOUT PRACTICE MAN!"
In Michigan, every high school basketball team makes the playoffs. That results in some incredibly compelling matchups like a 19-1 team facing a 2-18 team in the second round. (That's true -- I watched that particular game a few years ago. The former beat the latter by 59 points.)
...results in jimmy chitwood shooting a sweet j over some guy that looks kinda like oscar robertson to win the 1954 (1958?) indiana state title...
i probably overstated my opinion earlier, by the way. i don't honestly feel strongly either way. i don't, however, see the (inevitable) expansion of the tournament as the crime against humanity that much of the internet apparently sees...any more than i saw the expansion to 40, or 48, or 52, or 64 as some sort of tv-driven plot to reward mediocrity (people did, you know).
I'd be okay with accepting a smaller chance of that sort of once-in-a-lifetime event in exchange for not having stupendously uncompetitive or blindingly bad games (like the 2-18 vs 19-1 game, or like 1- and 2-win teams playing each other) in the first couple rounds every single year. I just want the MHSAA to have some standards in the playoffs -- just something like they have for football.
I know that's not really the topic at hand, but I really hate the playoff setup here.
Anyway: expanding the NCAA tournament (probably) won't be a world-ending disaster, but I think it's hard to argue that it'll actually improve the tournament. It's not unreasonable to say expansion is more likely to harm it than to help it.
not a disaster, but probably not a boon, either.
the mhsaa example is an interesting one, by the way - i see the michigan high school playoffs as a perfect example of over-expansion. i played on a state champ in 1982, the days of four classes and three games to win the title, so there's a certain amount of "get off my lawn" at work here, but...eight state champions? is there another state in the union that has eight classes for football? and 256 teams make it out of 635 (+/-) schools, or something like 40%...everyone gets in eventually (except, blessedly, for muskegon mona shores - ha! i love that joke...)
my attitude is similar in this case - shorten the regular season by 2 weeks, expand the playoffs (again, two weeks) to include everyone and have some sort of crossover losers bracket for first and second-round losers so everyone still gets a 9 game 'season.'
again, i don't feel strongly either way...96, 64, 48, whatever.
Is this a classic marketing ploy?
Leak "96 team tournament is a done deal"
Knowing sources quash the information, calling it speculative, or an option we're considering.
68 team tournament proposed with 4 "opening round" games is announced.
Outrage is minor, because it could have been a lot worse.
ESPN gets four games to air on Tuesday or Two and Two on Monday/Tuesday or Tuesday/Wednesday.
It's also worth remembering that as recently as 1991, there were play-in games, three of them to be precise, which left three teams out of the tournament because they didn't win their play in game. Somehow, this is different from the opening round game.
When I googled the 1990 ncaa tourney, it shows 64 teams with no play in games.
From an About.com article (wait, I am bringing more facts to the table. We're starting here.)
Play-in games were used more extensively in the past.
In 1991, there were three, matching the winners of
the Patriot League (Fordham) against the Northeast Conference champ (St. Francis (PA)),
the MEAC (Florida A&M) against the Southland (Northeast Louisiana) and
the Big South (Coastal Carolina) against the Southwestern Conference (Jackson State) for the right to advance to the field of 64.
All those conferences were subsequently given automatic bids.
From the previous link:
The contest was one of three play-in games used to determine N.C.A.A. berths this year. The games match champions of conferences that do not get automatic N.C.A.A. bids.
The key is that those teams did not get automatic bids, so those games were to play their way in to the field of 64, which is why the bracket from 1991 only shows 64 teams.
A 96 team tournament simply rewards mediocrity. I could care less about those mid-majors and bubble teams who whine about being left out. Either you get it done or you don't. Who cares about working hard to get to a certain point; hell, let's just include everyone so no one feels lonely. If the NCAA tournament goes to 96 teams, I'll lose complete respect for the tournament.
It's one thing to expand by 4-8 teams (not sure how you would do that though) but once you start pulling in 32 more teams the odds are that you are going to be taking teams that weren't even close to 500 in their conference. We already see it now where some teams go 8-10 in their conference and get in. Expanding by 32 would mean teams that are 7-11 and maybe even 6-12 start getting in.
It seems to me the only people that really want this are the coaches - especially those that just miss getting into the ncaa tournament.
If the conference tourneys end on saturday/sunday when is the first round? The following tuesday and wednesday?? I don't think you play all 32 games on the same day (you could but I'd guess TV would want to maximize the amount of games they can show). So then what, you wait a week to begin the second round on Thursday? If I'm a coach of a team that got a first round bye, I probably wouldn't be to thrilled to see my team have anywhere from 10-12 days off between games. And if your a high ranked school from a 'mid-major' conference whose conference tourney ends on a weekday, you might have 2 weeks off between games.
I don't think this idea (if implemented) would be about equality and rewarding mediocrity so much as it would be about generating more money. I don't think many people in the NCAA really care that much about making sure that the 2nd-best team in the Ivy League has a good shot at getting into the tournament.
Isn't it "Milk, I am your Mother?" I know it's semantics, but that would be one happy bull.
...thus the proof that a college football playoff would never satisfy everyone.
Congress thinks 8 football teams is enough to definitively determine a college football champ.
Well, we now see that 60+ f'ing teams aren't enough for everyone to be happy in a basketball playoff.
Soon after college football turns to a playoff system and it's not Brian's or anyone else's dream-playoff-scenario, people will be screaming that they got gypped. Then they'll have to expand to 16 teams, then 32...
Think that's crazy? So is 96 team basketball playoff.
And proof of what Einstein said: 'Only two things are infinite, the universe and human stupidity, and I'm not sure about the universe'.
Apparently, the Selection Committee, at long last, has responded to the gauntlet thrown down by the BCS committee, who challenged them to design a dumber(er? -est?) means of choosing a champion. And yea, verily they have done it. "What, you say none of our lowest-seeded teams has ever beaten our highest-seeded teams? Well, clearly the only solution can be to expand the number of cannon fodder teams then. This is certain to end well." It just goes to show you, some people can't leave well enough alone.
This has to be a joke, right? Those guys at the NCAA are such pranksters!
At least the coaches would have a great chance at staying employed (since all would make the tournament every year).
...and then still seriously implement it. But then, no one can account for the lack of shame and stupidity the NCAA has.
Seriously, if this isn't the worst idea of worst ideas that was ever worsely thought...
I think the way the NCAA Tournament is set up now is perfect. It allows at-large teams to get in and small school conference champions to get in and it's a really good fit. If you make it a 96 team field then you would have crappy at-large teams getting in and it would take away the quality of basketball away that is there now.
One idea that's been kicked around that I wouldn't absolutely hate is to give both regular-season and conference tournament champions auto-bids. That would be about the only way expansion to 96 might not be an awful idea. (The number of at-large teams wouldn't grow much as a result - depending on how many teams get both championships you're probably looking at 10-12 extra at-large teams.) But opening it up to someone who goes 6-12 in the Big East is insane.
If they want to expand the postseason, my recommendation would be to add the first-round NCAA tourney losers to the NIT and make a 64-team bracket there. (Logistically, it might be easiest to have the losers in a particular pod play each other and have the direct-NIT qualifiers play a couple rounds before merging the brackets.)