How The 2010 NCAA Tournament Field Would Look If It Were a 96 Team Field

Anthony TasteContributor IMarch 31, 2010

Today Big 10 commissioner James E. Delaney stated that an expansion is "probable" when NCAA officials meet March 21 in Indianapolis. Delaney however is not apart of the decision making committee.

The NCAA Tournament and it's 65 team field today in my opinion is already the greatest thing in all of sports. Most fans are against it and deservedly so. The NIT would be gone and the product would be severely watered down. In the 1st Round the top 32 which are 1-8 seeds would get byes and we'd have 9-24 seeds battling it out in the 1st Round under the new format.

Here are the matchups we get if we increase the field to 96

EAST (Syracuse Regional)

Game 1 - No. 9 Wake Forest vs. No. 24 Jacksonville
Game 2 - No. 12 Cornell vs. No. 21 Montana
Game 3 - No. 13 Virginia Tech vs. No. 20 Northeastern
Game 4 - No. 16 Seton Hall vs. No. 17 Wofford

Game 1 – No. 15 Wichita State vs. No.18 William & Mary
Game 2 – No. 10 Missouri vs. No. 23 East Tennessee State
Game 3 – No. 11 Washington vs. No. 22 Morgan State
Game 4 – No. 14 UAB vs. No. 19 Illinois State


Game 1 – No. 9 Louisville vs. No. 24 Stony Brook
Game 2 – No. 12 Utah State vs. No. 21 Weber State
Game 3 – No. 13 Arizona State vs. No.20 Robert Morris
Game 4 – No. 16 UConn vs. No. 17 Siena

Game 1 – No. 15 Dayton vs. No. 18 Tulsa
Game 2 – No. 10 St. Mary’s vs. No. 23 Arkansas-Pine Bluff
Game 3 – No. 11 Old Dominion vs. No. 22 Winthrop
Game 4 – No. 14 Rhode Island vs. No. 19 Sam Houston State


Game 1 – No. 9 Northern Iowa vs. No. 24 Quinnipiac
Game 2 – No. 12 Mississippi State vs. UC Santa Barbara
Game 3 – No. 13 Cincinnati vs. No. 20 Ohio
Game 4 – No. 16 North Carolina vs. No. 17 St. John’s

Game 1 – No. 15 South Florida vs. No. 18 Texas Tech
Game 2 – No. 10 Georgia Tech vs. No. 23 Troy
Game 3 – No. 11 San Diego State vs. No. 22 Lehigh
Game 4 – No. 14 New Mexico State vs. No. 19 Houston


Game 1 – No. 9 Florida State vs. No. 24 Jackson State
Game 2 – No. 12 UTEP vs. No. 21 Oakland
Game 3 – No. 13 Illinois vs. No. 20 Coastal Carolina
Game 4 – No. 16 Kent State vs. No. 17 N.C. State

Game 1 – No. 15 Memphis vs. No. 18 Murray State
Game 2 – No. 10 Florida vs. No.23 Vermont
Game 3 – No. 11 Minnesota vs. No.22 North Texas
Game 4 – No. 14 Mississippi vs. No. 19 Nevada

Take a look at those matchups now. Alot of ugly unexciting matchups between mediocore teams. We already have an exciting 1st Round why water down the product and add such boring matchups like these?

I don't think America is exactly jumping through the roof because they get to see a Seton Hall.vs.Wofford, Kent State.vs.NC State, Wichita State.vs.William & Mary, or San Diego State.vs.Lehigh 1st Round matchup.

The ACC would than have 11 of its 12 teams in the NCAA Tournament, and the Big East would have 13 of its 16 teams in. This severly waters down the regular season and conference tournaments making it almost meaningless. Teams would than make softer schedules so that they can easily run through the season knowing how easy it is to make the tournament. Whats the point of the regular season if every team from a major conference is going to get in?

Many of the cinderella stories would be gone as well. In the 1st Round seeing Jackson State upset Florida State for example in a 9.vs.24 matchup doesn't even make for a compelling story.

Coaches believe that this will help their job security as well which is far from the truth. Now that it's expected to make it they will be expected to win games when they get there or expect to be fired.

Why water down such an already great product? The NCAA Tournament is perfect as it is. You don't fix something that's not broken as the old saying goes. Why make the regular season and conference tournaments meaningless? If everybody gets into the NCAA Tournament what's so special about getting a berth?

It would be a very sad day in the world of sports and basketball if the greed of money drives the NCAA to mess up a perfect thing. The NIT is already a perfect 32 team tournament giving teams that didn't quite get it done in the regular season an extra chance to play postseason ball with good opportunity. Don't make the NCAA Tournament filled with mediocrity and matchups like Jacksonville.vs.Wake Forest that nobody cares to see.

If a 16 seed can't beat a 1 seed, and a 15 seed has only beaten a 2 seed four times what makes you think a 17-24 seed can? And if an 8 seed is the lowest seed to win the NCAA Tournament how in the world is any team that is considered no better than 65th best win it all?

The NCAA should not screw up a good thing. What they should be focusing on is fixing the BCS in College Football which is a terrible system, not messing up the perfect system the NCAA Tournament. It makes no sense that they want only 2 teams to play for a title in College Football, but want to allow 96 to play in College Basketball.

What's next? the NCAA adapts the Bowl System for Basketball?

With the lack of sense I wouldn't be surprised if the NCAA expands the field so that all 347 schools make it suggested that we skip the regular season starting it with the NCAA Tournament where we have winless Bryant facing off against #1 ranked Kansas in the 1st Round.

The NCAA needs to not ruin a great thing. If expansion goes down it may be the worst idea in the history of both Pro and Collegiate Sports


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