NCAA Expansion: Why It Should Not Happen!
The last few weeks there has been a lot of talk about expanding the NCAA Tournament from 65 teams. Most of the this talk has been about expanding the tournament to 96 teams. An expansion would be just another horrible decision by the NCAA.
Expansion would take the meaning away from the basketball season and conference tournaments. Allowing another 31 teams will do nothing more that tell the teams from the power conferences (ACC, Big East, Big Ten, Big 12, Pac-10, SEC) that's its OK to be mediocre. NCAA has already told them this in football by allowing 64 of 120 teams play in the post-season. That's 53 percent. There ain't nothing special about having over half of your teams play in the post-season.
For those who say that an expansion will allow the mid-majors to get more teams in, I want to know what you are on. We all know that more at-large opening will be filled by the major schools that go 16-15 in the regular season. Look at the way the NCAA treats the mid-majors at moment. They force 2 mid-majors to play in a play-in game just to for the right to play in the tournament instead of taking away one at-large bid that 99% of the time go to one of the power conference schools.
The real reason the NCAA wants expansion is clear. Money and more money. At the moment the NCAA has a $6 billion dollar 11 year deal with CBS which it can opt out of this year. ESPN-ABC is willing and capable of buy the tournament away from the CBS. But the catch is for the networks to cover their expenses they need more commercial time. To get commercial time the NCAA gives them more games. In turn the NCAA get a large contract. Pretty simple from my point of view.
In truth we the people that enjoy the games and get in trouble at work for watching the tournament on the computer have no say over what happens. We will still watch no matter how many teams are put in. The networks and the NCAA know this and that's why expansion will most likely happen.
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