According to Sports by Brooks, expansion of the NCAA basketball tournament to 96 teams is a “done deal”. NOOOOOOOOO!! I was hoping that when this rumor firsts broke a little while back that it was just that – a rumor – but apparently that is not the case. The NCAA Tournament is one of the best (if not THE best) sporting events of the year, making the NCAA millions of dollars and thrilling sports fans as well as your ordinary Joe on the street. So why is the tournament expanding? Why else – money. TV networks wants more games to broadcast, so the NCAA will cater to them. So hurray for us – mediocre teams will now be able to compete in March Madness! Just what we wanted, right?
If a team is not good enough to make it into the current 65 team field, it is not good enough to win the National Championship. With the addition of another 31 also-rans, all it is doing is watering down the field. And this is not going to allow more mid-major, potential Cinderella teams to enter the field – more than likely the extra teams invited will be middle of the pack BCS teams. Once again, just what we wanted, right?
Perhaps it is my economics background, but I’m a firm believer that more of a good thing is not always a smart business move. Maybe I need to draw the NCAA a supply & demand graph. And there is the old adage of “if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it”. The current format of the NCAA Tournament is definitely not broken, so why fix it? Too bad the only adage the NCAA follows is C.R.E.A.M.