Thursday, April 1, 2010

College basketball just got a lot less interesting

Looks like the NCAA is going to expand March Madness to 96 teams in the near future. Nothing has been confirmed or decided yet, but officials today said that 96 was the "logical" expansion for the tournament.

What happens if this plan is implemented? The regular season will basically be meaningless and the tournament is going to be less exciting.

There are already too many mediocre teams that make it in now because they get hot at the right time and win a conference championship. With 96 teams, we're going to get a lot more teams with .500 conference records in the tournament. I don't care if you're in the Big East, ACC or Southern Conference, if you can't win more than 50 percent of your conference games, you shouldn't be playing for a national championship. Good teams will be able to take breaks during the season without any real fear of losing a spot in the tournament.

Why should I watch the regular season?

To be fair, I went to small university with a crappy basketball program. Seriously, they stink and have stunk for a long time. Needless to say, I have no real cheering interests when it comes to college basketball. I'll pull for Wisconsin because of family connections, but mostly when I watch, it's strictly to see a good game. If teams don't feel the same amount of urgency, there is a good chance less good games will be on. With less good games, the more often I will be watching reruns of "Scrubs." Unless it's the seventh or ninth season. They sucked.

With the tournament, there are a lot of good games packed into a three-week period. Expand this thing, and it's not going to be as exciting in the beginning. Teams that have no right playing for a national championship will be getting stomped early and often. You kind of have that now with 64 teams, with occasional No. 1 and No. 2 scares and the annual No. 12 dropping a No. 5.

My biggest problem with 96 teams is it's not about giving more teams a chance. Sure, the NCAA will announce it's for the good of the event, but what it comes down to is it will bring in more money. It's naive to think otherwise.

It could be worse though, they could be considering having 97 teams with a play-in game. Seriously, who thought of that crap?

Bob Seger - Feel Like a Number

1 comment:

  1. The real loser here are the conference tournaments, which are full of intrigue and excitement under the current format. Should the field expand, those are likely rendered meaningless as well. What's worse is that this is being pushed on the heels of one of the best NCAA tournaments in awhile (and that's even with Duke in the final). Its all about the benjamins, the NCAA doesn't care that they have a near perfect product, they want more money. One argument I keep hearing is more teams in could save coaches jobs. No it wouldn't, if you couldn't make a 96 team field, schools would be quicker to pull the hook on a coach, as the 65 team field has a more exclusive feel to it. I personally hate the play-in-games, but would be ok with adding 3 play-in games to get to 68, to open 3 more at large spots, than this garbage of going to 96.