There was report in USA Today in which Big 10 commissioner Jim Delaney, who also oversees the NCAA basketball tournament, says an expansion of the tourney to 96 teams is probable.
The expansion would theoretically give the top 32 teams in the tournament a bye, and then in the first weekend 64 teams would cut down to 32 more, setting things up for the second weekend. But there are big problems with going to 96 teams. Basically, you’d add the NIT to the NCAA tournament. Right now, you have a large group of scorned teams that don’t make it. Can you imagine how many teams will make a claim now? There are going to be 40 teams thinking they were snubbed.
Can you imagine that first day, Louisville-Quinnipiac or the Florida State-Northeastern matchup? That’s really destination television, isn’t it? Not to me. 96 teams is unwieldy, leaves too many teams angry and makes it too hard to fill out a bracket.
But the NCAA wants to make more money, you say? Well, they need to listen to me. I have a plan that fills the needs of adding two days of NCAA action, but doesn’t add any more teams.
Like in the CBI, the tournament the Billikens are in, make the NCAA championship a best-of-three between the finalists. After the Final Four, play game one on Monday night at the neutral site. Then play game two of the championship series at the home of the higher seed, and a possible game three at the home of the lower seed.
This solves all the problems. More money for the rights, no messy bubble problems, and most importantly, my bracket is still quick and easy.