Wednesday, February 24, 2010

Just Say NO To NCAA Tournament Expansion

The NCAA Tournament is the greatest event in sports because it is unique, it is difficult to get into and it awards an undisputed national champion (see: what the BCS doesn't do.)  I do not understand the incentive to expand the tournament beyond it's current situation at 65 (one too many participants if you ask me.)  If you have a system is exciting, brings in huge money and generates massive interest from those who have absolutely no interest otherwise in college basketball (see: office pools,) then what is your incentive to try add to it? The vast majority of the time when such expansions are made, they end up blowing up right in the faces of the people who greenlighted them.  Look at the egg Gary Bettman has on his face after expanding the NHL to ridiculous measure, giving franchises to cities that have no business hosting professional hockey teams (Atlanta, Phoenix) which has diluted the product and sent the NHL into a tailspin in which it can only be seen on Versus with an occasional (rare) showing on NBC, a long fall from it being shown on networks like FOX and ESPN.  I know that as a fan of Villanova, I'm a member of the NCAA bourgeois, but there is a very simple way for teams to make the NCAA Tournament and it is winning your conference tournament.  If it was up to me, the 64th best team in the field would not have an RPI of 200 but rather an RPI closer to 64. I've come up with several reasons why the NCAA Tournament is big enough and here they are:
  1. A 16 seed has never beaten a number one seed since the tournament was expanded to 64 in 1985.
  2. The lowest seeded team ever to win the National Championship was Villanova in 1985 as an eight seed.  It is an exception to the rule when a team that is not a top two seed wins the tournament (especially in recent years.)
  3. Urologists don't need any more money.
  4. A 128 team field is too large and too long and would be too dilluted while a 96 team field could give teams that play an extra game an advantage. 
  5. A larger field would devalue the importance and prestige from making it to the tournament while also giving locks incentive to rest players down the stretch. 
  6. It would kill the NIT tournament which has been around for longer than the NCAA tournament. 
Greedy money grubbing bastards don't deserve their fingers on the controls.  What it amounts to is exploitation because most of these players will never see a dime of money for playing in the tournament while coaches, athletic directors, university presidents and NCAA higher ups are lining their pockets in cash, it just doesn't make sense.

1 comment:

  1. I find it really amazing that so many people associated with college basketball think this is a terrible terrible idea and yet the NCAA just keeps on going through with it. They really don't care what people want or what is best for the sport, all they care about is the $$$