No College Football Playoff: How About a Bigger NCAA Basketball Tournament?

Mike KlineAnalyst IDecember 9, 2009

DETROIT - APRIL 06:  A general view during the 2009 NCAA Division I Men's Basketball National Championship game between the North Carolina Tar Heels and the Michigan State Spartans at Ford Field on April 6, 2009 in Detroit, Michigan.  (Photo by Gregory Shamus/Getty Images)
Gregory Shamus/Getty Images

The NCAA has done a marvelous job of ducking the ever—growing demand for a College Football Playoff, so what is their next great idea?

How about expanding the NCAA Basketball Tournament? If you are asking why, the answer is really simple: money.

This wouldn't be the first bad idea the NCAA has proposed in the name of trying to make a buck. The NCAA has begun looking into the idea of expanding the tournament now comprised of 64, er, 65 teams to more than 90 teams.

Why not? After all, those "No. 1 seed vs. No. 16" seed matchups that we have now are just so compelling.

Granted you may have a No. 2 seed get upset from time to time, but chances are in those cases it was poor seeding that led to that bracket buster.

The NCAA would be better off refining the process they already have. Fix the seeding, matchups, venues, schedules, or officials first.

Jay Bilas said it best during halftime of Tuesday night's Georgetown—Butler game. He said that there are too many teams in Division I Basketball and it is clear that there aren't that many schools who realistically can compete at the highest level.

I would take it a step further and say there aren't really 64, sorry 65, teams that have a realistic chance. In reality, 32 is a bit of a stretch, but I'm in favor of leaving it at 64, I mean 65 teams, permanently.

We don't want to go back to a scenario where some really good teams don't get in because they don't win their conference tournaments. But do we really need to worry about the Winchestertonville School of Technology not getting into the tournament?

Do they really have a chance? That answer to that is simple too: no, they don't.

I find it laughable that the NCAA is so worried about money issues when it comes to Bowls and a football playoff but is trying to squeeze every last drop out of their other cash cow.

I guarantee: you create a football playoff similar to, but a smaller model of the basketball tournament, and people will watch and you will make your money.

What makes the NCAA Tournament so compelling? Underdogs beating top tier teams right? Well those "underdogs" typically are conference champions who have one or two really good players who can carry a team for one game.

Those anomolies that crop up where a team from a mid-major conference champion isn't the best team usually don't have that Cinderella experience.

And not all schools and champions from the Podunk Conference have those players that allow for an tournament run, so letting more teams in doesn't create any more potential for an upset.

An expanded tournament also sets up potential byes for the top teams, which I think is unfair.

It also extends the tournament longer than it has to be. No offense to hockey but I don't want to see the NCAA tournament become as long as the actual regular season like the NHL.

And let's not forget the financial implications on our fragile U.S. economy. Think how much less productive we are during the tournament. If it takes another couple days or weeks to complete the tournament, think how detrimental that could be.

So for the sake of our economy, I beg the NCAA to reconsider.

Sixty-four, I mean 65 teams (I really think I'm getting the hang of that) is enough already. But if the NCAA really wants to see a Duke-Central Arkansas Sugar Bear matchup in the first round then so be it.

I'd rather see a Georgia Tech-Alabama matchup in a college football playoff, but that might be just me.

No offense to the Sugar Bears, by the way.

For an interesting take, check out the Onion's satircal look at the NCAA's proposal.



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