Wow. NCAA actually gets it right.

So. I will admit. I kinda lost it when the ncaa started talking about making march madness a massive madness inviting everyone and their brother by doubling the size of the tournament.

But. In the end common sense won out over the almighty dollar.

Yes. The NCAA tournament will expand next season (as long as the Board of Directors approves the recommendation laid forth by the NCAA Division I Men’s Basketball Committee next Thursday).

Yet. The good news is March Madness will only add a trio of teams. Okay. This is huge. This is what I would call a victory for all the March Madness lovers out there (me included).

“There’s no expectation that further conversation takes place related to the field anytime in the near future,” NCAA senior vice president Greg Shaheen said. (awesome once again)

Hey. This is no guarantee some school out there will go wacky on us and start lobbying the NCCAA to quadruple the field and maybe include some high school teams or something but it does look like it will be a 64+1+3 (now) tournament.

Maybe it was me (in my stupefied scared mindset) but a 96 team tournament looked like a done deal beginning in 2011 (although NCAA interim president Jim Isch maintained that there “was no decision ever to go to 96”).

Yikes. Just imagine if the field were at 96 this past season. A mediocre North Carolina team would have been a virtual lock, some decrepit Pac-10 teams would have been included and some Canadian team would have been asked to play.
But the NCAA finally got this one right.

“Why mess with something that is very good the way it is? It’s perfect the way it is. Why do we have to reinvent the wheel?” the Army coach was quoted. Boy. Those military guys are pretty smart.

This decision was awesome. There was no need for a full blown expansion. And other than maybe returning to the 64-team format this was a great decision.

The bottom line here is that the integrity of March Madness (and the tournament) hasn’t been compromised, the 1st and 2nd round games will still create that upset buzz (and, admittedly, this whole play-in thing may actually improve the odds of an early round upset if say they add in someone like a Dayton – who won the NIT – or some major league conference mid team who could crank up a big game … but not a sustained one) and, lastly, the regular season will still mean something.

The new format hasn’t been determined but will be discussed at a couple of future meetings. There could be four play-in games instead of just one. Maybe it would be eight bubble teams battling it out for a shot at a 12-seed (I do like that idea). Anyway. Way to go NCAA.

Written by Bruce