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Sports by Brooks: Sources: 96-Team March Madness Is “Done Deal”


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Sources: 96-Team March Madness Is “Done Deal”

Posted by Brooks on Feb. 01, 2010, 1:29pmSources at ESPN and inside the administration at a powerhouse NCAA basketball school told me today that the NCAA basketball tournament going to 96 teams is a “done deal.”

An ESPN source said, “It’s a done deal with the expansion of the tournament. Depending on how soon a (TV) deal is done, the added teams could start next year. The NCAA confirmed that bidders would be interested in 96 teams, so they’re going with it.”

Another ESPN source confirmed to me that the network was in the formative stages of pondering a bid for the expanded tournament.

John Ourand and Michael Smith of SPORTSBUSINESS JOURNAL reported this morning that if the NCAA opts out of its current broadcast rights deal with CBS, the governing body will consider, “expanding from a 65-team tournament to either 68 or 96 teams.”

The NCAA-CBS broadcast rights contract has three years and $2.131 billion remaining. SBJ reports, “the NCAA has until Aug. 31 to exercise its right, though it hopes to conclude the process much earlier.”

A 68-team field would add three games to the current 65-team format, and a 96-team field would add 31 games to the tourney.

Source: Sports by Brooks

Link: http://sportsbybrooks.com/source-march-madness-with-96-teams-done-deal-27742

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This is ****ing ridiculous. There is no reason to change the current format.

A 96 team format lets in every bubble team. No one is left out. A lot more venues. Whose bubble gets burst? Nobody.

When you look at the Selection Show every March, they have 5 or 6 teams that are on the bubble. So you add those teams. And then what? What other teams do you add that were on the bubble?

Do we really want a system such as college football where you need only fare .500 or above to get in the playoffs?

This is a horrible mistake by the NCAA if true. Stop with the political correctness. The current system provides what is so great about the sport, the teams getting their bubble burst at the final day, the bubble teams getting in at the last second on the show. This won't happen if 96 teams are in.

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The only promise of this plan is a perceived merger between the NIT and NCAA into a mega-tournament. If all the NIT teams get into the NCAA tournament things could get a little interesting with a 96 team field.

Imagine Penn State and GMU last year playing UNC, MSU, Kansas, etc. Wouldn't be bad at all. The only way I'd be behind this plan is if this knocks the NIT out. No one watches that **** anyways.

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I don't see the point of expanding from 65 to 68 teams. That seems like a "who cares" issue. But 96 teams? Gimme a break!

Tournament expansion is all about $$$$$. Nobody from the bottom half of the 65 team field has ever won it all, so expanding the field has nothing at all to do with the notion of sporting fairness.

It's not like college football, where voters and secret computers narrow the entire championship field to just 2 teams before a single postseason game is played. College basketball actually gets it right, and if anything the tournament is already a bit too big. (I like it that way though.)

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leave it to the NCAA to destroy the best sporting even in the country and unchange the one everyone hates.

Seriously. March Madness and the NFL playoffs are the best postseasons in major American sports. The NHL and NBA let too many teams in, MLB lets too few in, and we all know about the abortion that is the BCS. But The League and college basketball have it down. Yet we're on the verge of losing one of them?


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What significant changes have they made?

Its only been 64 since (I believe) the early to mid 80s. And in the past decade they've added the play-in game.

Per wiki - they went to 64 teams in 1985:

The NCAA tournament has expanded a number of times in the last 65 seasons. This is a breakdown of the history of the tournament format:

1939–1950: eight teams

1951–1952: 16 teams

1953–1974: varied between 22 and 25 teams

1975–1978: 32 teams

1979: 40 teams

1980–1982: 48 teams

1983: 52 teams (four play-in games before the tournament)

1984: 53 teams (five play-in games before the tournament)

1985–2000: 64 teams

2001—present: 65 teams (with an "opening round" game to determine whether the 64th or 65th team plays in the first round)

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I'm not a fan of this move, but if they do it, I hope they don't just clutter up the tourney with a bunch of mediocre teams from power conferences. I'd much rather see the best mid-major squads that would otherwise just miss the 64-team cut get in, rather than seeing the dregs of the ACC make it. Otherwise, why even have a regular season?

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One thing I have heard about this is the conference winner AND the tourny winner from each conference get an auto bid. This would be HUGE in rewarding teams from smaller conferences that dominate the entire season then lose in the tourny in a fluke way. The amount of "at large" schools will go up some, but not to the point a .500 or below conference team is getting in all the time.

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I posted this yesterday in the CBB Thread. I think its a horrible idea. There's no point in even having a regular season if you go to 96 teams. I mean I understand there are a few good teams left out every year, but not 31. Where are they going to find 31 deserving teams?

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