The 96-Team Bracket: Who's In And Why You May Rethink Expansion

Bleacher ReportCorrespondent IMarch 6, 2010

DETROIT - APRIL 06:  The North Carolina Tar Heels huddle up prior to playing against the Michigan State Spartans during the 2009 NCAA Division I Men's Basketball National Championship game at Ford Field on April 6, 2009 in Detroit, Michigan.  (Photo by Streeter Lecka/Getty Images)
Streeter Lecka/Getty Images

Do you feel like every year your team just misses the NCAA Tournament? Do you feel like your team deserves a shot with the big boys and got robbed? Well, if the answer to those two questions are yes, then you should take a look at this.

If The NCAA Tournament were a 96-team field this year, here is how the conference breakdown would be according to Joe Lunardi:

Conference (bids)

Big East (13)

ACC (8)

Big 12 (8)

Atlantic 10 (6)

Big Ten (6)

SEC (6)

Conference USA (5)

Missouri Valley (5)

Colonial (4)

Mountain West (4)

Pac-10 (4)

WAC (4)

West Coast (3)

Metro Atlantic (2)

Mid-American (2)

Last Four in

Missouri State

North Carolina



First Four Out



Wright State


Gross, right? Someone please explain to me how they could be happy with North Carolina making the NCAA Tournament this year. Heck, someone explain to me how a middle of the Pac-10 team like Arizona would qualify for a spot in the field.

I do not like this idea of expansion after seeing Joe Lunardi's projections. 13 teams in the Big East would be way too much, and I am the biggest fan of that conference.

The regular season would be watched even less and would not intrigue the fans because that big win over the conference leader won't mean as much to that .500 team who in a 65-team field would be dying to get the victory.

Not only this, but once the NCAA Tournament arrives and we see around 20 teams who have records of below .500 in a major conference, we aren't going to want to watch that round.

Everyone will be waiting until the real tournament, the 65-team field, begins and that would have to happen after teams like North Carolina lose in the opening round.

The only positives I can think of is the increased revenue for the NCAA, fewer coaches being fired because of an easier path to that successful claiming NCAA berth, and potentially a shorter regular season.

Expansion may look good to the NCAA, but not to the fans.