Red's Weekly Top 5: Reason I Hate NCAA Tournament Expansion


Top 5 Reasons I Hate (possible/likely) NCAA Tournament Expansion

Word around the NCAA water cooler is that the Men’s Basketball tournament is ‘likely’ to be expanding from 64/65 teams to 96….as early as next year.  The NCAA also used the word ‘probable’ in regards to this – yikes!  I’m sure there is somewhere close to 53 zillion reasons to hate this, but I’ve been able to narrow it down to 5. 

1)  Don’t screw up the bracket sheets!!  The NCAA has a literal gold mine with these brackets – everyone from die hards like me to 87-year-old grannies fill these things out….and because of that, everyone watches the games.  You add an extra 32 teams to the brackets and, I mean….how small is that font going to be??  Or a two-page bracket??  Can’t use it.  And how hard would that be to try to predict???  Let me put it like this — In this years 64/65 (whatever) team tournament, ESPN had almost 5 million entries.  Once we got to the Sweet 16, they had exactly zero perfect brackets.  In fact, only ONE bracket anywhere could be identified as perfect up until the Sweet Sixteen –  and we’re talking about tens of millions of brackets around the world….and that’s just the Sweet Sixteen!!!  I think you get the point.  An extra 32 teams makes the task literally impossible, and pretty damn intimidating…..therefore the casual, or even non-fan, quits playing – and that gold mine they have starts to shut down.

2)  It waters down what’s already damp – Let’s face it.  We all know it.  Out of the 64/65 (see what I mean) teams we start with today, far less than half have a real, REAL, chance to win it all.  What, 15?  Mayyyyyybe 20??  But that’s it – So that means two-thirds of the entrants have no shot to win….and now they want to add 50% more??  WHY???  Don’t get me wrong, I like the automatic bids from conference championship winners – but these spots are earned on the court.  Even though most, if not all, of these schools have next to NO chance to win it all, they’ve still earned that opportunity – remember, this is what everyone screams for in college football (but that’s different topic for a different day).  What they’re trying to do now is essentially take the unwatchable NIT and add it to the Big Dance – you know why no one watches the NIT??  Because the teams aren’t very good and about as much fun to watch as PacMan Jones spelling bee.  Like my High School Basketball coach told us K.I.S.S. – Keep It Simple, Stupid

3)  Regular season= snoozefest – I can just here Coach John Thompson III talking to the Hoyas during Midnight Madness – “Alright guys, as always, the NCAA tournament is our goal – but it won’t be easy.  The NCAA has expanded the field to damn-near a hundred – so as I see it, all we have to do is finishmost of our games and we’re at least on the bubble.  Take a few teams into OT and we’re a lock.  OK, we’ll start practicing once the Tournament gets under way – should have time to get in a several weeks worth while all the other games are going on – all right,  ‘See you in March’ on three, ready, 1, 2, 3, SEE YOU IN MARCH!!”  Zzzzzzzzzzz

4)  Greedy &*$%*! NCAA bigwigs – Answer:  Marriages, friendships, the NCAA basketball tournament – Question:  Name 3 things that get screwed up by money.  I can’t (although by now I should be used to it) believe how greedy these goons are.  They can’t stand the fact that the NIT is a joke, and quite frankly I bet it costs both the NCAA and the respective schools a TON.  But just get rid of it, eliminate it, 86 it, whatever you wanna call it, but make it go away – just don’t get blinded by the possible dollar signs of TV deals with expansion and ADD it to the Big Dance!!  PLEASE!!  Just like in football, the NCAA is going to let greed ruin the competition.  Holy tip-toeing tadpoles, Batman.

5)  Don’t screw up the bracket sheets!! – I know I already listed this one, but that’s how important this is!!  96 teams??  One tournament??  Really???  Why don’t you add the UConn women??  Or some D2 schools….hell, why not the National High School champ while you’re at it!!  Sheesh!

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