Friday, May 19, 2006

NCAA tourney could grow to 80


There's a chance the NCAA men's basketball tournament could grow from 65 teams to 68 - maybe even 80 - before the end of this decade.

Citing parity in the game, Syracuse's Jim Boeheim - the second vice president of the National Association of Basketball Coaches - has sparked discussion on tourney expansion to the point the tournament committee will address the issue when it meets June 26-30 in Orlando, Fla.

"I would say it certainly deserves discussion," said Kansas University coach Bill Self, a member of the NABC Board of Directors, a group that touched on the matter at its recent annual meeting in Atlanta.

"Our game has been modified over time and it's always turned out to be for the better, whether expanding the tournament (from 53 teams to 64 in 1985; and 64 to 65 in 2001), widening the lane because of Wilt (Chamberlain), adding the three-point line. It all evolved and kept our game moving forward," Self added.

Expansion of the tournament would require NCAA approval and thus probably wouldn't take place before 2009. The current 11-year, $6 billion CBS contract runs through 2013.

"I'm not saying I'm all for it," Self said. "I think it's worthy of discussion with parity - more good teams - than 20 years ago. It (parity) is only going to increase."

As far as the NABC board's position on the matter in Atlanta, "we talked about it briefly," Self said. "What we talked about is it is worth discussion. There were no definites. We just agreed it's worth kicking around in the future. Nothing will happen in the immediate future."

Self doesn't think CBS, which has provided so much money to NCAA institutions through their tournament dollars, will have the only say in the matter.

"It will be a joint deal. Basketball will do what's best for basketball," Self said. "I do know TV obviously has a big part to do with it. This is in infant stages of discussion."

Jim Burson of Muskingum College is president of the NABC board with Clemson's Oliver Purnell first vice president, Boeheim second VP, Kentucky's Tubby Smith third VP and Rice's Willis Wilson fourth VP. Board members are: Self, Pat Kennedy, Towson; Kelvin Sampson, Indiana; Dale Clayton, Carson-Newman; Tom Izzo, Michigan State; Dave Odom, South Carolina; Ernie Kent, Oregon; Dick Davey, Santa Clara; Larry Gipson, Northeastern State; Barry Collier, Nebraska; Page Moir, Roanoke; Phil Martelli, St. Joe's; Ron Hunter, IUPUI; Jeff Jones, American; Paul Hewitt, Georgia Tech; Bo Ryan, Wisconsin.

¢ Tucker, Gardner gone: Texas forward P.J. Tucker and Missouri guard Thomas Gardner both have signed with agents and thus will remain in the 2006 NBA Draft and not entertain the possibility of returning to college for their senior campaigns.

"Neither one totally surprises me," Self said. "I do believe this ... without knowing their situation totally, I think they could have helped themselves by coming back. They were good for our league. P.J. was player of the year."


Chris Shaw 13 years, 6 months ago

Let's just increase the tournament to 120 teams and then a decade after that increase it to 240 teams. It's all about the money. Money has all but ruined baseball and basketball (Even though these playoffs have been pretty good). Keep it where it is.

JBurtin 13 years, 6 months ago

I'm with ya there, 64 teams is a nice round number. It's a perfect square so you don't have to deal with bye rounds or play-ins other than the one play in for the two leagues that don't get an automatic bid. Personally, I think even the two leagues without an automatic bid should get an automatic. It would cut out one more bid for a so-so team from a big league, but those kind of teams never really go anywhere. I'd rather see the best team from a small league to give you one more chance at a miraculous upset. That's what makes it fun to watch.

I'd say until we see a 16 seed knock off a 1 seed, there's no reason to expand the field. I understand that the small leagues are starting to exert some muscle and have closed the talent gap a bit. But in all honesty, how many teams really have a chance to win it. The lowest seed to ever win it so far was an eight (Villanova in '85). That only leaves about 32 teams with a true shot. We're already at twice that number.

KUBowler99 13 years, 6 months ago

and the better chance of MU & KSU actually making the tourney...


phoga15fan 13 years, 6 months ago

to clarify, the better the chance of MU & KSU actually making the NIT........

jakejayhawk 13 years, 6 months ago

I don't want to sound like a dinosaur by saying this, but when is the number too large? 64 (65?) works, as a previous poster observed. I detested the intermediate tournaments as the number grew from 32 to 64. Talk about bias; remember the arguments in awarding first-round byes? That just adds another level of turmoil.

And let's address the bigger picture. The TV coverage has grown out of control. CBS had the worst presentation I remember since the tournament expanded. How many of you finally gave up with the cutting in and out of games for commercials even while the games were still in progress? And what about the poor production qualities in their attempts to show final moments of games? They would jump from game to game and miss critical moments rather than letting us just absorb the context of the game.

Isn't it ironic that during the tournament, CBS advertises the Masters ":with limited commercial interruption"? Let's get back to the proper number of times-out, the proper length of those breaks, and return the integrity of the games to the teams.

With the number of minutes not played in an NCAA game, it actually changes the dynamics. When was the last time you saw a game in the tournament really decided by the fatigue of one team compared with the stamina of the other? CBS and the NCAA have changed the games right under our noses and apparently few people even care.

Derek King 13 years, 6 months ago

You're all missing the single most ridiculous piece of that article--Thomas Gardner is actually STAYING in the NBA draft???

I knew he initially did the 'declare/no agent' thing, but, Thomas, to quote Ron Burgundy: "I thought you were KIDDING! I thought it was a joke; I even wrote it down in my diary--'Thomas Gardner had a very funny joke today.'--I laughed at it later that night!"

big_urb 13 years, 6 months ago

I think this is a good thing, because right now you get a bunch of teams in that don't belong in the tournament. A lot of teams in the NIT are better than seeds 12-16 in the NCAA tourney just because of auto-bids. So what is the point of having a tourny if you don't have the best teams in it?

theno1jhawk 13 years, 6 months ago

If you were in Mizzery, wouldn't you want to leave?

Craig Lang 13 years, 6 months ago

I think once the NCAA tourney expands to 300 teams, Missouri will FINALLY see some post-season play. After all, with so many teams in the big dance, SOMEBODY will have to play in the NIT!

tis4tim 13 years, 6 months ago

Continued expansion of the tourney is not needed. (In fact, they should dispense with that silly 65th team too and the "bracket annex game".) I know it has continually expanded over the years as needed but the number of D-1 schools has not continually expanded. I know that money drives everything here and, yes, there is more parity so some of the teams that belong don't make it and some that shouldn't be there do. But, the debates on who should have and shouldn't have is what really gets people revved up about the tourney. Is the NCAA looking at expansion as their focus or is adding more teams just a side-effect of broadening their advertising base? The NCAA has a good thing right now and should be careful not to water it down in an effort to build their coffers even further.

I do think that the selection committees should place more emphasis on the regular season championship for consideration into the tourney. Too often a season-long mediocre team can win its conference tourney and knock out a more deserving team that has been good for the long haul. It would make the reg. season games more important, not just the conference tourney games. I don't think expanding is the way to go.

To echo a previous comment, if expansion continues as is, Missouri should get in somewhere around the year

Derek King 13 years, 6 months ago

Perhaps, but with Mike Anderson coming in? Didn't his UAB teams like to run and score a lot of points? Wouldn't someone like Thomas Gardner be EXCITED about that kind of system?

If he thinks he's getting drafted into the NBA, he must be looking forward to playing in Norway, Nicaragua, Nigeria or Namibia (or some other country starting with "N") next year, because he's not going to be in the NBA that WE all know.

seattlehawk_78 13 years, 6 months ago

Keep it at 65.

That way Phog's team will never get in and we'll have the satisfaction of hearing him whine every day on this site.

actorman 13 years, 6 months ago

Actually, tis4tim, the number of D-1 schools HAS continually expanded. It goes up by 3-5 teams virtually every year. However, I still think they're at the right number of playoff teams now and shouldn't add more. But it's also inevitable that they will add more. After all, as we all know, money dictates everything.

loudog 13 years, 6 months ago

Instead of expanding the tournament, they should just limit the number of schools that get in from the big conferences, like they've talked about in the past. That way, more of the smaller schools have a chance of getting in. The second or third place team from mid-major is usually better than the fifth place (or lower) team from a majore conference.

Mr_Sandman 13 years, 6 months ago

I like the number of teams where it is right now. Anything that will let more teams who don't deserve to get in is a bad idea. If you want to go to the dance play a good schedule and win some games!

seattlehawk_78 13 years, 6 months ago

I agree Sandman. 65 is plenty fair. There are too many undeserving teams as it is.

Jhawk275 13 years, 6 months ago

Whats the point of playing a regular season then? They're going to let anyone into the tourney.

ku_bringback_danny 13 years, 6 months ago

Dude, don't be hateing on Aron Miles. Missouri still wont make the filed of 80. Not even the NIT !!!

charger 13 years, 6 months ago

to:ku_bringback_danny I think you mean (hating) and (field). But after that I agree

ku_bringback_danny 13 years, 6 months ago

Hay Charger I had to do a tour of duty in Missouri once and this is the only way of may-king dem under-stand!!!! You have seen how Phog writes!!!!

derekleeinkc 13 years, 6 months ago

Hmm... if you win that ESPN Tournament Challenge with 80 teams, you should win a damn big prize!

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