Blog Entry

Please, God, stop with this expansion talk

Posted on: December 10, 2009 11:30 pm
Edited on: December 10, 2009 11:32 pm

There are lots and lots of problems with the sport of college basketball.

That there isn't a block/charge line under the basket is silly.

The gap between the haves and have-nots is widening.

High-level recruiting is a mess.

If the NCAA decided to try to fix any of those things, I'd applaud the organization at every turn. But what I can't applaud is the decision to look at expanding the NCAA tournament , because expanding the best postseason tournament in American sports would be a mistake.

Plus, it's completely unnecessary.

As someone who projects the field, I can tell you that I've never sat there on Selection Sunday and felt like I was leaving out a good team. It's just never happened. I stress about which average team to include, not which good team I'm omitting. So anybody who tells you good teams are being left out is either stupid, uninformed or lying. Those are the only three options. And if you don't believe me, consider that the highest-rated RPI team from a power conference omitted last season was Florida, and do you really think we needed Florida in the NCAA tournament last season?

Really ?

The Gators entered Selection Sunday with a 23-10 record.

They had a 1-6 record against teams that actually made the field.

They beat one Top 50 team all season, and that Top 50 win came in November.

If Florida was on the wrong side of the bubble, honestly, who cares? The Gators were 9-7 in a terrible SEC, lost to Auburn in the SEC tournament, and went 7-8 in the 15 games leading up to Selection Sunday. Again, did Florida really need to be rewarded with a trip to the NCAA tournament?

I say no.

Hell, I bet Billy Donovan would say no.

And that's why expanding the NCAA tournament is silly.

Yes, there are lots and lots of problems with college basketball.

But how college basketball ends its season simply isn't one of them.

Since: Aug 27, 2006
Posted on: December 12, 2009 12:47 pm

Expansion talk - a good compromise

We already have teams No. 64 and 65 face off Tuesday in Dayton, Ohio, before the true first round of the tourney on Thursday and Friday.

Why not have a block of four games - a pod, in other words, in Dayton? That way, the eight worst automatic qualifiers would face off on that Tuesday to see which four become a No. 16 seed. It would free up three more at-large spots without watering down the product with a huge expansion. The little guys would still have their shot this way as well.

The product would actually be much better because you are weeding out three more of the worst teams with that Tuesday elimination. And, if the small-majors don't like getting stuck in a Tuesday at Dayton game, it's on them to schedule better and get some wins over the better mid-major conferences.

Since: Mar 20, 2007
Posted on: December 12, 2009 12:22 pm

What about the bad teams that do get in

Your article ignores the fact that 6 or more bad teams do get in the tournament every year keeping better teams out.  These are the conference winners from podunk conferences that hardly ever produce competitive teams.  Every year it seems that some 14-14 team upsets the conference tournament favorite and goes to NCAA to get crushed in the first round.  In my view this is where the pressure to expand the tournament comes from. 

Since: Dec 10, 2008
Posted on: December 12, 2009 10:45 am

Will expansion make the NCAA more competitive?

The answer is no....expansion will add more 16+ seeds and add games to cities where games will be sparsely attended....and only if they are held in a home court environment like the NIT....
oh yeah, there might be a good, competitive games but putting UNC, Duke, KS, UK, or even a lower ranked team like Minnesota against the "expansion included teams" is like some of the preseason games these teams play [and have to because they can't all play each other....take UK, they play UNC, Uconn, UofL and IU but also play Morehead State and Rider....expansion would drive more Rider/UK type games]

Keep it the way it is and let the NIT handle the next layer of schools.

Since: Jan 28, 2008
Posted on: December 12, 2009 1:48 am

Please, God, stop with this expansion talk

Agree. SOOO much agreement.  They already let 65 teams in, when everyone knows that only about 1/2 of those have even the tiniest chance of winning it all.  I think you left off 1 other reason they're talking about expansion though: money.  Of course it's all motivated by seeing if they can squeeze a little extra dough out of the system for an extra round of games.  Personally I don't think the networks would buy that, so I'm not too worried.

Then again, nothing the NCAA does makes sense to me, so they'll probably expand even with a majority against it.

Since: Sep 27, 2009
Posted on: December 12, 2009 1:10 am

Please, God, stop with this expansion talk

Maybe a three game set.  But five is too many!!

Since: Dec 3, 2006
Posted on: December 12, 2009 12:23 am

Nice things about the tourney the way it is

(1)  Every team that has a legitimate chance to win the championship is in.  No one is excluded based on pollster bias or just cuz you are in a "weak" conference.  If you can't make a field of 65, that's your fault.  Win more games. 
(2)  There's a clear pecking order.  Everyone wants to be #1.  But making the final four is still rafter banner material.  Be a "Sweet Sixteen" team and your coach will get a fat bonus.  Just making the tournament is a badge of honor.  You didn't make it?  Then go win the NIT.  Heck, I was even proud when Oregon State won the CBI.  Everyone knows how good good is.  This is totally unlike football - is the Maaco Bowl better than the Meineke Bowl?  Sounds like I'm trying to pick a place to take my car.  Why is a 6-6 team playing on New Year's Day?
(3)  Sure, some Cinderellas advance more out of luck than skill.  Some mediocre teams make the tournament that shouldn't.  But to win it all, you have to win 6 games in a row against the best teams in the nation.  If you can do that - you deserve to be #1, no matter what your regular season record was.  

It's the second best playoff system in the world (the NFL is best)  In short, it's everything the BCS is not.  Do screw it up.

Since: Aug 11, 2009
Posted on: December 11, 2009 11:02 pm

Please, God, stop with this expansion talk

There isn't any need to expand the tournament.  The 64 team format is excellent and has no need of expansion or alteration. Yes, I realize that advertisers want the opportunity to sell their wares in front of a large captive audience.  But those sponsors and the NCAA make more than enough money with the present format.

It is a privilege to watch this great tourny every year.  Let's keep it the way it is.

Since: Dec 10, 2007
Posted on: December 11, 2009 10:39 pm

Please, God, stop with this expansion talk

I posted somewhere else - the only thing that should be fixed is the issue within the smaller conferences when the division winner doesn't also win the conference tournament.  The regular season SHOULD MATTER for every team - period.  And right now it really doesn't matter at all for a lot of the smaller conferences and that just isn't good for the sport.  Both the division winner and the conf tourney winner should get an auto bid.  In a good deal of cases the winner turns out to be the same anyway, and so what if there are a few more blow outs.  Davidson didn't deserve an At Large bid last year, but winning the Southern Conference title was meaningless.  That sends a message to those fans - don't bother to watch conference games until the conference tourney - they just don't matter. And that's really not fair. 

I'm with Parrish on Florida, and other at large bubble teams.  Part of the challenge for all teams is to build a good enough resume to qualify for an at large bid.  If there are 31 teams with more impressive bodies of work, then so be it. 

Since: Feb 4, 2009
Posted on: December 11, 2009 10:09 pm

Please, God, stop with this expansion talk

Why do you think that the tourney is as popular as it is now.......It should never be expanded. The whole reason there is so much hype and it is so talked about is because of the teams that are in danger of being left out of the tourney. Take away the bubble and you take away so much of what make it great, so much of the drama, passion and controversy that fuels all of the discussion and interest in the weeks leading up to the tournament. look at the ratings of tournament week, the conference tournaments mean everything to so many of the schools participating because of the possibility of being left out. It's really not that complicated. it's the most perfect sporting event that exists. Check the ratings and financials. Also, take it off network t.v. to cable and you take it away from the masses. Again, ruining much of what has made it great in every corner of the country............................

...............Leave it alone. It's as close to perfect as possible.

Since: Mar 21, 2008
Posted on: December 11, 2009 9:22 pm

Please, God, stop with this expansion talk

I agree with this... Though it would make a field of 67 ---  65 + 2 = 67

That would be a good start to the tourney...two more bids and then let everyone else cry in the NIT!!!! Dayton has such great fans...reward them for being such great hosts of the play-in game!

Doing this would be easy and would be all the expansion that I think would ever be necessary!

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