Around the Hall: Tournament expansion seems inevitable

  • 04/01/2010 8:22 pm in

Around the Hall is recommended reading from the Inside the Hall crew. So go ahead, get your read on, kids.

Dan Guerrero, NCAA chairman of the Division I men’s basketball committee, Kevin Lennon, NCAA vice president of academic and membership affairs and Greg Shaheen, NCAA senior vice president of basketball and business strategies met with the media today in Indianapolis to discuss expansion of the tournament. A transcript from the press conference is available here. As you might deduct from the headline, all signs point to expansion. Reaction from bloggers and writers from around the Web below:

+ “So there you have it. The NCAA wants more money, even at the expense of revealing itself to be apparently unconcerned with the notion of “student athletes,” supposedly one of the core reasons it exists. Isn’t this the major argument against a college football playoff?” – Eamonn Brennan, ESPN College Basketball Nation

+ “What’s really at issue here is a great deal of hypocrisy. This might sound like a bit of a straw man argument, but there are detractors of a college football playoff system who balk at the notion of kids missing so much class for those games. So why isn’t the same principle applied in this instance?” – Chris Littman, The Sporting Blog

+ “It seems the 96-team tournament is all but a done deal. The fans don’t like it. But the NCAA and television networks want it. And even worse, after today’s press conference, it appears that the NCAA has absolutely no idea how to go about instituting this. Sounds like a pretty perfect plan.” – Ryan Hudson, SB Nation

+ “The organization also considered leaving the tournament at its current size, expanding to 68 teams and expanding to 80 teams, but it deemed the larger model as the best fit.  In the 96-field model, the first 32 teams with top eight seeds would receive a first-round bye.” – Shannon Ryan, Chicago Tribune

+ “Rather than lengthen the tournament a week and risk hurting TV ratings by having the Final Four go head-to-head against the Master’s, the NCAA instead intends to cram an extra round of basketball into the usual three-week time span. Under that plan, 64 teams would play the round of 96 on the Thursday and Friday of Week 1 and the 32 winners would face the 32 first-round bye recipients on Saturday and Sunday. Then after a one-day respite on Monday,  the 32 remaining teams would play on Tuesday and Wednesday to whittle the survivors down to our familiar Sweet 16, which would start on Thursday of Week 2 as it always has.” – Jeff Eisenberg, The Dagger at Yahoo Sports

+ “It’s time for the National Collegiate Athletic Association to expand the tournament to 96 teams from 65. While I understand the hesitancy people may have to alter this great event, I think doing so would make the tournament even better.” – Villanova coach Jay Wright to the New York Times

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