FanDuel - WFBC

April 02, 2010

96-Team NCAA Tournament Increasingly Likely: The NCAA appears to be on the verge of expanding the men's basketball tournament to 96 teams, according to CBS Sports. Under the current proposal, the tournament would add 32 teams and give the top 32 teams a first-round bye.

posted by rcade to basketball at 04:31 PM - 18 comments

I'm not thrilled with this, but if it goes, how about having the 32 first-round losers form the NIT field?

posted by jjzucal at 04:33 PM on April 02

so the same number of games would be played -- minus the 64 vs. 64 play-in game.

No, that's not right.
They might cram it into the same number of weeks, but you can't add 32 teams and think you'll have the same number of games.

Here comes the math!

65 teams means the following:

1 play-in game + 32 first round games+ 16 second round games+ 8 third round games + 4 fourth round games+ 2 final four games + 1 final game = 64 games.

96 teams means the following:

32 first round games (for the 64 teams not getting a bye) + 32 second round games (winners of first round vs bye teams) + 16 third round games + 8 fourth round games + 4 fifth round games + 2 final four games + 1 final game = 95 games.

posted by grum@work at 05:42 PM on April 02

This is an awful idea. It will kill most office pools. I doubt if my girlfriend will bother with a bracket now.

They should expand the tourney to 68 teams, with every automatic qualifier placed in the first round. Eight at-large bubble teams should play in play-in games with the winners becoming 11-seeds and the losers becoming 1-seeds in the NIT. This year, Tuesday games involving Illinois, Arizona State, and UNC would have been followed by a lot more people than whatever the play-in game actually was.

posted by Aardhart at 05:44 PM on April 02

Grum, I think it meant the the games in the NCAA + NIT now would be the same as in the NCAA after expansion.

posted by Aardhart at 05:46 PM on April 02

I don't like this idea at all. It'll certainly make picking a bracket that much harder. Plus, do any of the additional 32 teams that make it actually have a realistic shot at winning the tournament? I highly doubt it.

posted by Ying Yang Mafia at 06:07 PM on April 02

I'm with you Ying Ying. From what I heard on ESPN this morning, every league champion will qualify, in addition to the tournament winners. That means a lot more mediocre teams. IMO watering down the talent is not a step in the right direction. Go back to 64, that 65th team play-in game is a joke and make the league champion the selection, not the tournament winner.

posted by Shotput at 06:24 PM on April 02

So let me see if I've got this right:

In basketball, we have the 64/65-team NCAA tournament, which most fans think is the ideal method to determine a champion. Big enough that most teams who deserve a shot get in, but not so big that making the tournament isn't an accomplishment in itself.

In football, we have the BCS, which is almost universally despised by the fans. It allows teams to start the season with no shot of winning a national title because they are based in Idaho, and allows a team to be perfect and get left out because two other teams matched the achievement.

So we're going to fix...basketball?

posted by TheQatarian at 07:21 PM on April 02

So we're going to fix...basketball?

Fix?

posted by BoKnows at 08:52 PM on April 02

Me no like.

Too many teams to focus on when completing a bracket. Too many lopsided games. That first week would be too much basketball.

I agree with TheQatarian...let's fix football first.

posted by dviking at 09:55 PM on April 02

The only thing I like about this is that it would give Weber State another chance to beat North Carolina.

Providing NC can make it back to the tournament.

Plus, a few more players that hardly anyone has heard of will suddenly get a moment of national recognition.

I wonder who the next God Shammgod is going to be.

posted by beaverboard at 10:17 PM on April 02

I wonder who the next God Shammgod is going to be.

Waiting for a resurrection ?

There is only one true God Shammgod.

Maybe two: according to Wikipedia, it's possible that God Shammgod's father's name was also God Shammgod.

posted by tommytrump at 11:13 PM on April 02

Why don't they increase it to 334 teams with the best two high school teams playing for the 334th spot. Isn't these the same people that said they didn't want a a football playoff because the players would miss too many classes. It looks like they will miss at least 2 weeks of classes, because they want the games to be on every day of the week.

posted by Doehead at 08:52 AM on April 03

The only thing I like about this is that it would give Weber State another chance to beat North Carolina.

Weber State also took out Michigan State. Back in the '90s, I think.

Serious questions:
1) would expanding to 96 teams pretty much nullify the reason for conference tournaments?
2) would expanding to 96 teams pretty much destroy the TV ratings for the tournament? If you that many teams playing, who's going to fill out a bracket? What office even has the required 11x17 paper that can hold that many teams? And aren't those brackets the reason so many freaking people watch the tournament in the first place? Most of the people watching the tournament are just casual fans following their brackets, right?

posted by NoMich at 09:35 AM on April 03

If they are going to expand the tournament, I'd like to see them do two things: 1. Drop the conference tournaments 2. Award two automatic berths to the two best teams in each conference.

posted by apoch at 10:41 AM on April 03

This would make the conference tournaments and selection Sunday a total snooze. Although it would make the first-round play more competitive, it would be less interesting teams because the top 32 are sitting out.

I think the NCAA's making a colossal mistake here. I don't think it will stop brackets from being as popular as they are, but March Madness has turned NCAA basketball into one of the biggest spectacles in American sport. Why mess with a good thing?

posted by rcade at 11:09 AM on April 03

No, that's not right.

Fixed. Damn mathematicians.

posted by rcade at 11:12 AM on April 03

Fixed. Damn mathematicians.

We've been pissing in sports fan's cornflakes for over 100 years!

Although it would make the first-round play more competitive, it would be less interesting teams because the top 32 are sitting out.

Nah. I much prefer watching less heralded teams. When they win, it's a real celebration.

Most of the people watching the tournament are just casual fans following their brackets, right?

Except for the 4 years my family took spring break in Myrtle Beach, where the game is a religion, I've only followed March Madness because of the brackets.

posted by grum@work at 11:34 AM on April 03

Fix?

The only thing this will fix is the amount of income the NCAA will be able to rake in from the networks every spring. This will work for a little while until the networks discover that their ratings have slipped due to overexposure. It's a little bit like squeezing the golden goose, but if you squeeze too hard, the goose winds up dead.

posted by Howard_T at 02:19 PM on April 03

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