For a while now, the NCAA has mulled over the possibility of expanding the NCAA tournament. Some were hoping for a 96 team bracket, while purists were hoping for no change at all. Consider the NCAA a champion of compromise (actually, don’t), as the organization announced that it’s Men’s Basketball Tournament would be expanding from 65 to 68 teams.
The final four at-large teams and final four automatic qualifiers in the newly minted 68-team NCAA men’s basketball tournament field will meet for the right to enter the traditional 64-team draw, tournament selection committee chairman Dan Guerrero announced Monday.
The “First Four” will be played either the Tuesday or Wednesday after Selection Sunday. The winners of the four games will advance to what will now be called the “second round” on either Thursday or Friday. The newly named third round — with 16 games — will be Saturday and Sunday. The rest of the tournament — regional semifinals (Sweet 16) and regional finals (Elite Eight) — will remain as they have been, as will the Final Four, which is set for Houston in 2011. –ESPN
Let me get this straight. You’re going to take teams, who didn’t win their conference, and by regulations aren’t assured a spot in the tournament and match them up against teams that won their conference, and by doing so qualified automatically? That seems a little unfair to the smaller conferences, NCAA. I don’t think Lehigh, Arkansas Pine-Bluff, Winthrop, or Vermont are going to be able to compete against bigger conference opponents, who, I may add, didn’t deserve to qualify in the first place. Thank God we live in a country where an organization can sell the dreams of student athletes up the river for more money. (/Hears a suspicious knock, opens the door) O, why hello there, friend. I haven’t see you in awhile. Read the rest of this entry »