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Report: Coach K, ACC Coaches to Propose 'All-Inclusive' 2021 NCAA Tournament

Adam Wells@adamwells1985Featured ColumnistSeptember 9, 2020

Duke head coach Mike Krzyzewski directs his players against North Carolina State during the first half of an NCAA college basketball game in Durham, N.C., Monday, March 2, 2020. (AP Photo/Gerry Broome)
Gerry Broome/Associated Press

Duke head coach Mike Krzyzewski is leading a push for an NCAA tournament that will feature every Division I men's basketball team.    

Per Jeff Goodman of Stadium, Krzyzewski and the ACC coaches will propose an "all-inclusive" 2021 NCAA tournament. 

Goodman noted that every ACC head coach unanimously voted for the proposal on a Wednesday conference call. 

He also gave more details about how many schools would be eligible for the proposal:

Jeff Goodman @GoodmanHoops

Told there are 346 D-1 teams of the 357 overall eligible for the NCAA tournament. - Seven are reclassifiers. - Three are ineligible due to APR. - Oklahoma State ineligible for tourney.

"This is not a regular season," Krzyzewski said in a statement, via Pat Forde of Sports Illustrated. "It is clearly an irregular season that will require something different. Our sport needs to be agile and creative."

After Goodman's report, numerous ACC coaches and programs tweeted in support of the proposal:

Carolina Basketball @UNC_Basketball

https://t.co/WU9u7o8Csg

Chris Mack @CoachChrisMack

https://t.co/Tn5kldaT3J

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Mike Brey @NDMikeBrey

C’mon man... let’s give these kids some hope for the tournament after all they have been through over the past year! https://t.co/RccGRta6Bt

The 2020-21 college basketball season was originally scheduled to start in November, but it's unclear if the NCAA will allow that to happen because of the coronavirus pandemic. 

Dan Gavitt, NCAA senior vice president of basketball, issued a statement last month that said there will likely be an official announcement by mid-September:

"We have learned a great deal over the course of the summer, and with health and safety being our priority, we have developed and studied contingency plans for alternatives to the scheduled Nov. 10 start date.

"In the coming weeks, the NCAA Division I Men's and Women's Basketball Oversight Committees will take the lead with me in a collaborative process of finalizing any recommendations for consideration by the NCAA Division I Council for the start of the college basketball season. By mid-September, we will provide direction about whether the season and practice start on time or a short-term delay is necessitated by the ongoing pandemic."

NCAA President Mark Emmert has said using bubble sites to host championship events could be an option but expressed concern about having a large number of teams in a single venue. 

"Starting with 64 teams is tough. Thirty-two, OK, maybe that's a manageable number. Sixteen, certainly manageable. But you've got to figure out those logistics," Emmert told NCAA.com (via ESPN's Jeff Borzello). "There's doubtlessly ways to make that work."

The NCAA canceled the 2020 men's and women's basketball tournaments in March because of the pandemic. The Big Ten and Pac-12 have postponed fall sports, with the hope of being able to reschedule them at the start of 2021. 

Krzyzewski has been outspoken about the potential financial ramifications if the NCAA men's basketball tournament has to be canceled again. 

"We're the thing that the NCAA is most concerned about because men's college basketball and the tournament pays for something like ... it produces 98 percent or more of the money for the NCAA," the Blue Devils coach said Aug. 17 on ESPN Radio's of Keyshawn, JWIll & Zubin show (h/t ESPN's Myron Medcalf). 

A traditional NCAA men's tournament includes 68 teams made up of 32 conference tournament champions and 36 at-large bids. 

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