What's One More Game? Expand The NCAA Tournament Field

Roman PetrowskiContributor IMarch 21, 2008

March is quite possibly the best time of year. It means the end of usually a cold winter, the arrival of baseball season, and oh yes, that little thing that everybody likes to refer to called March Madness.

Let's face it, The NCAA tournament could be the greatest invention of Western Civilization, but is it possible that the NCAA tournament could be better?.

I believe so.


1. Lose The Play In Game

Somebody give one good reason to have the Play-In Game in the NCAA tournament except for the fact that it means ESPN shows two fewer reruns of last years World Series of Poker. Nobody takes this game seriously. All it is, is a way for the sports world to poke fun at a smaller school.

For the team that loses the game, they get all the shame of losing in the first round of the tournament, without any of the glory of even making the field. All it means for the team that wins is they get a chance to be humiliated by the best team in the tournament.

Playing this game also means that they have played one more game than the rest of the teams in the field. Nobody thought it was fair when Georgia put on their miraculous run winning three games in two days, but nobody thinks its wrong for these two teams to have to play an extra one.

Why should a team that will meet the best team in the tournament be punished by playing an extra game while their opponent rests?

The Play-In game has got to go, for the respect of the smaller schools and for the sake of not making me sit through that two hours of completely boring basketball.


2. Expand The Field

Why must we be forced to listen to the Jim Boeheim's every year when their team doesn't make the tournament?

We all know that Syracuse deserved to be in last year and most of us believe that  Arizona State (21-12 9-9) was unjustly left out this year. How could they not get in, finishing with a better conference and overall record than 10th seeded Arizona (19-15 8-10), also beating them twice during the season?

Something must be done about this injustice.

Why not add one extra round to the tournament and expand the field to 128 teams? What would it hurt?

It adds a maximum of four days to the tournament plus a whole extra round to the greatest invention ever. That way the teams that deserve to make it, do in fact make it and an added bonus would be getting rid of that bogus College Basketball Invitational where teams like Cincinnati (13-19) get in over teams like Sam Houston State (23-8), but that's a different story.


3. Forget The Major Markets

Being From Texas, I realize that the USD vs UCONN game isn't a priority over the Texas-Austin Peay game. I understand the regional broadcasts and that Texas' market is probably double that of USD and UCONN combined, but why must I watch an Austin Peay player struggling to put his contact back in place in a 20 point game, while a 13 seed is in the process of a major upset over a four seed.

There is no need for that.

When Texas fans are calling me and telling me they stopped watching the game because it got boring then I believe we have a problem.

Forget the major markets and show the people the potential great games.

All in all I love the NCAA Tournament and besides these little things I have no complaints. If nothing happens to improve these things, it won't stop me from watching the tournament, but it would be nice to see the little things eliminated from an almost perfect creation.