Sunday, April 03, 2005

96 teams in the future?

ESPN had a story this morning about a proposed change to 96 teams in the NCAA Tournament. The basic elements were as follows:
  • Teams are seeded 1-96
  • Teams from 1-32 receive a first round bye; 33-96 are lined up for play-ins based on a highest/lowest seeding (i.e., 33 v. 96; 34 v. 95, etc.).
  • After the 32 play-in games are played, the teams are re-seeded into a traditional 64 team bracket and the tournament goes on as normal.
The benefits:
  • Elimination of 1-16 type first-round blowouts: The teams seeded in the 90's will be playing against teams that are now 10-11 seeds and have a much more reasonable chance to win and be able to play a second game.
  • Although a new bubble will be created, it will be unlikely that a conference champion of a mid-major will get left out if they lose in their conference tournament. In fact, it may be advantageous to give automatic consideration to the conference and tournament champion.
  • Of course, another round gives CBS another pile of ad revenue... and isn't that what's most important?!?


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