Make March Madder: Abolish Conference Tournaments

Tyler FranzCorrespondent IMarch 21, 2009

RALEIGH, NC - MARCH 23:  Stephen Curry #30 of the Davidson Wildcats looks on against the Georgetown Hoyas during the 2nd round of the East Regional of the 2008 NCAA Men's Basketball Tournament at RBC Center on March 23, 2008 in Raleigh, North Carolina. The Wildcats defeated the Hoyas 74-70. (Photo by Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images)

There are many theories as to how to make the NCAA tournament's selection process more fair and aimed at the true best teams in the country. These ideas range from expanding the tournament field to banning mid-major teams outright.

After seeing Davidson fall in the Southern Conference tournament this year, the idea hit me.

Get rid of the conference tournaments and let the regular season winner get the automatic bid.

Think about it. Eliminating conference tournaments would benefit mid-majors because it would ensure that a mediocre team like UT-Chattanooga, who finished fifth in the conference in the regular season, doesn't get in, only to lose by 59 to a top-seeded team.

Rather, the best team, in this case Davidson, would get in and make the tournament more competitive.

Eliminating conference tournaments would benefit major conferences like the ACC, too.

Teams like North Carolina have no motivation to win these tournaments, as they already know they will receive a top seed, regardless of how they fare in the conference tournament.

Eliminating conference tournaments would allow these teams to not have to play in meaningless games and risk injuring their players before the NCAA Tournament.

Furthermore, eliminating conference tournaments would make the regular season immensely more meaningful, as teams would be playing directly for NCAA berths rather than for seeding in a conference tournament.

It is highly unlikely that conference tournaments would be eliminated for a variety of reasons, including revenue and tradition. But if the NCAA truly wants to ensure that the tournament field includes the best teams, eliminating conference tournaments is the easiest and most logical way to do so.