NCAA expanding to 96 teams?

Discussion in 'Sports' started by TomVols, Mar 13, 2010.

  1. TomVols

    TomVols
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    http://www.sportsbusinessjournal.com/article/64263

    Several articles like this have been cropping up. It appears the NCAA is shopping March Madness around with the possible carrot of expanding to 96 teams, to lure a potential new suitor like ESPN.

    We can discuss the merits of expansion (and we have), whether your're pro or con (I'm pro) but my biggest concern is this: should the networks be deciding how this plays out? Do they already? Isn't this similar to the NCAAF championship? Doesn't this say what I've been saying all along, namely, we'll have a playoff in NCAAF when the money is right?

    Business and sport intersect as usual, even in "amateur" sports. But the decision makers are not the players, schools, conferences, nor the ADs. It's the NCAA, the sponsors, and the networks.

    Discuss...........
     
  2. ccrobinson

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    That's all we need, to be able to watch more bad teams play bad basketball.
     
  3. TomVols

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    This is the worst year to ask this question. Jay Bilas keeps saying (and I think he may be right in one sense) that this field of 65 may be the weakest ever.
     
  4. Andy T.

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    This would be an awful decision. I think it is dumb that they have the 1 play-in game. 64 teams is the perfect number. You have 2 sets of games the first week, 2 sets of games the second week, and the Final Four the third week. 3 weeks is enough.
     
  5. TomVols

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    My fear, Andy, is that if ESPN gets this new deal, the play in game...er, opening round...will have all the hype of the Super Bowl. ESPN will demand changes, yet they don't want to kill the NIT. Rumor was they got the NIT to adopt the automatic bid rule for conference winners left out of the dance. So do they go forward and ask for more Tuesday night games, or do they ask for the elimination of one AL and make the play in game obsolete?
     
  6. Bob Alkire

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    I agree with you. I don't even turn on the deal till the final 8 teams are playing.
     
  7. TomVols

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    You're missing some good basketball.
     
  8. Bob Alkire

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    Tom, I'm sure you are correct, but I'm also missing some real poor basketball.
    I'm already watching baseball, saw LSU playing two weeks ago while in La. and saw Furman and SC last week while in SC. Get me to the championship game for basketball now and get on to baseball. I'm ready to get round ball over with and move on, but each to their own.
    By the way that Ar. Pine Bluff game seem like a real lights out game along with a few others. 1 playing 16 isn't a good game most of the time, that is why I turn on for the most part the final 8, more of a chance for a good game. I have time for about two or three game a week at most, so I want them to be good ones.
     
  9. TomVols

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    And your argument is one of the ones for expansion. If you let some of the weaker sisters get eliminated earlier in an opening round, you get better ratings and more ad buys later on. And the curious might tune in to see the weak sisters.

    But the opposite is that UK fans are going to watch regardless, so the 15 fans in Johnson City, TN who care about ETSU are gravy.

    And that's the gist: $$$$$ will decide all of this. A lot of fans who are apathetic to the 1st and 2nd rounds will be wooed by the NCAA and its broadcast partner, and if you have to make wholesale changes to the tourney to do it, so be it, they say.
     
  10. Bob Alkire

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    I read a book years ago that said in years to come gambling would control much of the interest in NCAA sports. A play off would come into being in time for football and the gamblers would like a round ball play off like In. High School basketball, all. I don't gamble so I would like to get it over with and move to the next sport. The book said that much of the TV rating come from gamblers, seem to make sense to me.
     
  11. Dale-c

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    I think they should just go back to 64 if you ask me.
    96 is just stupid. a 16 seed still has never beaten a 1 and they want to expand?

    The tournament is great as is. The play in game is a minor annoyance but going to 96 would just be really lame in my opinion.

    That said, if they must add more they could add another play in game or 3 more to make it 68 teams. But what does that really accomplish?
     
  12. ccrobinson

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    Not only this, but a seed lower than an 8 has never won it. Half the field now has no chance to win it. The tournament could have stayed at 32 and the final outcome wouldn't have changed.

    Tom, I know you don't agree with Bilas and have said that there are good teams that don't get into the NCAA. Let's talk about one of the "good" teams.

    The coach of one of those so-called "good" teams compared their season to a natural disaster. Seeing people crushed under the rubble of their own homes was preferable to watching that team play basketball. These same North Carolina Tar Heels just lost the NIT Championship to Dayton. Why would you say UNC was good? Their own coach said they were a disaster. Mississippi State was one of the "good" teams that didn't make the NCAA, but they lost to UNC in the NIT. Maybe they weren't so good after all. Maybe the committee was 100% right when they decided that Mississippi State wasn't good enough to be in the NCAA.

    It accomplishes nothing other than to make more money. Everybody gets more $$ and everybody's happy.


    Just to review: Almost everybody wants a football playoff and the NCAA won't do it. Almost nobody wants a 96 team basketball tournament, but the NCAA is going to do it. Makes perfect sense.
     
  13. Steven2006

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    I don't really have an issue with the idea of expanding it. What I do dislike is the idea of giving 32 teams a bye in the first round. That kind of goes against the entire spirit of an open tournament. Regardless of the number, every team that qualifies for a tournament should have equal chance of winning.
     
  14. Salty

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    I dont mind the first round bye - but I would like to see double elimination. Any team can have one bad night...
     
  15. Steven2006

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    Double elimination? No thanks, talk about drastically changing the event forever, that would surely do it.
     
  16. TomVols

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    On everything? That's not true. I agree with him much, and disagree sometimes. I think he was very prescient about his ideas on expansion, the "left out teams," etc. But as I've said many times, you can't say (like he does) that conference X is "weak" and then say conference Y is tough because they beat each other up when the records of both are almost equal. Other factors could argue this though.

    I wouldn't. Anyone who says UNC is good needs to "just say no".
    Miss St isn't "not-good" because they lost to UNC.
    Using your logic, since you lost to UNC, you're bad. So Ohio St is bad since UNC beat them in Nov. Does that mean OSU should go to the NIT instead? :tongue3: Or perhaps Michigan State should lose their Final Four berth since they lost to UNC on Dec 1st. :smilewinkgrin: Wow...how did OSU and Mich St get in the dance...did the committee get it wrong here too? :tongue3:

    Exactly. But I'd question the notion that no one wants it. If ESPN wants it and thinks they can sell it, that would argue that someone out there wants it because they're not going to do something that isn't going to sell.

    By the way, the Big TelevEN commish all but said expansion to 96 is a certainty. http://sports.espn.go.com/ncb/tournament/2010/news/story?id=5043254
     
  17. ccrobinson

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    I didn't say they were good. I'm saying that the team identified as a "good" team that went to the NIT wasn't good enough to beat a bad team.


    Ok. Nevermind. You know what I'm saying, but it doesn't matter. Forget that I brought this up. I'm done with this topic.
     
  18. TomVols

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    Now, now, CC... don't be sore at me. You were relating "good teams not in the NCAA" and then talked of UNC.

    You and I agree on more here than you think as regards expansion. I'm not wild about the idea, but I fully believe that it's going to happen and since that's the case, we need to explore ways to make it palatable. Like it or not, enough commisshes, coaches, fans (one survey showed 2 of 3 fans want it) have spoken. What's more, the money will have the final say. And welcome to the world of the NCAA.


    Not for nothing....I don't know anyone who thought that NC should even be in the NIT. St Louis was more deserving IMHO. But the NIT decided that having UNC and UNC fans following the field would be better than the Billikens' fans. Which is why I really get nausea all over when people talk about the NCAA like its a sacred institution, caring for the traditions and its member institutions and their fans.
     

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