View Full Version : NCAA Expansion from 65 to 95 teams.

03-20-2010, 04:36 AM
From 65 teams to 96? Your thoughts.


There’s plenty of reaction to possible expansion

By JIM O'CONNELL, AP Basketball Writer Mar 16, 3:58 am EDT

NEW YORK (AP)—It wouldn’t take an act of Congress, and in the overall scheme of things, expanding the field for the NCAA men’s basketball championship wouldn’t solve or create any problems for most Americans.

Then why have so many people offered so many opinions on something that’s only in the discussion stage, at best, and might not even happen?

Because the three-weekend, 65-team format has become as much a March staple as cold rain in the Northeast and the sound of batting practice in Florida and Arizona.

Talk about expanding the field, from three more teams—to take away the stigma of a lone play-in game—to as many as 96, is getting much of the attention as the 2010 tournament begins.

The Associated Press asked coaches across the country about their feelings toward expanding the tournament as their teams played in conference tournaments.

Out of 23 coaches who talked to the AP, the results were roughly split between those favoring expansion to 96 teams, those who like the tournament the way it is but would open to tinkering with it and those who oppose expansion. Several others said they weren’t leaning either way just yet, but they do recognize the opportunity to make money, give more players the chance to experience the tournament, and—maybe most important—help a few of the 347 head coaches in Division I keep their jobs.

The NCAA tournament’s big moment of expansion was in the early 1980s, when the field grew from 32 to 40 then 48 teams. Finally, in 1985, the magic number became 64—later to be upped by one. It was in 1980 that the limit of one team per conference was lifted, changing the look and feel of the tournament.

“The coaches, at that time I think, were looking for direction from the Committee rather than venting at was handed down to them,” said Wayne Duke, the former commissioner of the Big Ten and Big Eight who was the chair of the Selection Committee from 1978-81. “The coaches now have more to say about it. I don’t remember it as a cause as they do these days. Coaches are more outspoken today, but believe me we did have our outspoken coaches in my day. Honestly, I can’t remember any negative feed back, at least not in a voice you hear now.”

Feelings these days are strong on both sides of the issue.

“I think 96 is too much. I really do. I think then the watering down does come into play,” said New Mexico coach Steve Alford, who, as a player, led Indiana to the 1987 national championship. “I’m not in favor of 96, but I would be in favor of expanding it some.”


03-22-2010, 12:49 AM
March Madness: Mixed emotions on Tournament expansion

By Randy Lieberman / Senior Staff Writer
published: Sun, 14 Mar, 2010

Usually, the saying is “If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it.”

As far as the NCAA Tournament goes, the buzz and competitiveness surrounding March Madness isn’t something that needs improvement.

But despite a lucrative television contract with CBS and the greatest single-sheet-of-paper marketing tool in the world — the bracket — NCAA Tournament expansion might occur soon enough to generate more dollars.

There’s no doubt this expansion would competitively help more mid-major teams make the Tournament. The question for Big East coaches is how would it help teams in arguably the best conference in the nation?

Several coaches have commented, but their answers vary.

Consider Villanova Head Coach Jay Wright’s plea. Wright has gone on record in the past as a supporter of expanding the NCAA Tournament field. Last month, he spoke those same words citing that the game has grown beyond the limits of a 65-team tournament.

“When I first became a Division I head coach I think there were 297 teams. Now there’s 347. The Tournament has stayed the same size,” Wright said in a conference call. “The game has grown, all of the conferences have grown, the mid-major programs have grown. There’s just so many more good teams out there.”

He also said there are teams out there who think their seasons are failures only if they miss the NCAA Tournament. In this case, they could have had a great season despite it.

“It’s still a great honor to make the Tournament even if they increase it to 96. You can look at college football, maybe 50 percent get to go to bowl games,” Wright said, “But I think [tournament expansion] is past its time, and I’m really excited that we’re considering it.”

The NCAA Tournament has been altered just once since 1985, when it expanded from 53 to 65 teams. Coincidentally, Villanova won its first national title in 1985 in the expanded tournament.

The widely reported proposal from the NCAA is expanding the teams in the tournament from 65 to 96. The NCAA is in the eighth year of an 11-year $6 billion contract with CBS for the rights to March Madness. The deal accounts for more than 90 percent of the organization’s annual revenue.

The NCAA could opt out of its CBS deal for an even more lucrative contract thanks to a clause that allows the NCAA to opt out of the final three years, with no obligation to CBS, if it does so by July 31. Upon doing so, the NCAA is an unrestricted free agent to the bidding of television networks in the United States.

In potentially expanding the NCAA Tournament, the NCAA is making itself look more profitable and attractive to networks. Especially since last year’s North Carolina-Michigan State championship game drew the lowest Nielsen rating since the game viewership has been tracked.

There are others who are a little more skeptical.

Connecticut Head Coach Jim Calhoun seemed to waver on the idea of expanding the amount of revenue generated from the NCAA’s postseason tournament.

“I’m opposed to [expansion] in the sense that it will make 99 percent of the money,” Calhoun said in a conference call. “I’ve always thought it was an honor and privilege to be one of those 65 teams, and I do think the increase, if it’s better for the game and someone can show me why it is, then I would say yes. If it’s just to make additional money, then I’d say no.”

Yet Calhoun is a rare breed of dissenters among coaches.

Many more high-profile head coaches, such as Michigan State’s Tom Izzo and Florida’s Billy Donovan, continue to support expansion publicly. Others, such as Pitt’s Jamie Dixon, have questioned to the media how the Tournament would be feasible.

“He didn’t understand how they would go about seeding the teams, and more importantly he wondered well, you’re already playing until the first week in April now, you’ll be adding an extra weekend,” Pittsburgh Post-Gazette reporter Ray Fittipaldo said.

Fittipaldo, who covers Pitt basketball for the Post-Gazette, also added he wouldn’t see how Pitt would benefit from such an expansion unless it received funds from a new TV contract.

He also added the Tournament should avoid byes, because based on three Big East squads losing in their first games off double-byes in the Big East tournament last week, extra days of rest aren’t a benefit.

But the prospect of expansion has caught the eyes of all Big East coaches, with more supporters emerging than doubters.

“I would like to see the Tournament expanded,” Georgetown Head Coach John Thompson III said in a conference call, who added that he never thought about how many teams should be invited or how an expanded tournament would be constructed. “At the end of the day, I would like to see it opened up and see more teams get a chance to compete.”

The NCAA still faces a ton of questions about its Tournament expansion proposal. But we’re already seeing Big East coaches take sides. In the coming months, this issue should resurface, and more and more coaches will give their opinions on the expansion idea.


03-22-2010, 12:55 AM
Here's a brief history of NCAA Basketball's gradual expansion.


History of NCAA Men's Basketball Bracket
Past Growth Suggests Tournament Will Continue to Expand

Mar 14, 2010 Jonathan Fogg

To better understand the future of the NCAA men's basketball tournament, it's important to know exactly how the bracket arrived at 65 teams.

Expanding the NCAA men's basketball tournament bracket to 96 teams – or even 128 – from the current 65 sure is a hot topic these days. And for good reason; the history of the NCAA tournament is one of gradual expansion since it was first played in 1939 with a mere eight teams. Now it's a phenomenon that garners billion-dollar TV contracts and inspires millions of Americans to wager billions more in informal betting. So where does it go from here?

NCAA Tournament's Founding and Early Growth

The first men's basketball tournament was held in 1939 with eight teams in a three-round format, according to All Brackets. The bracket was divided into Eastern and Western regionals. All of the games in each regional were held at a specific site, and the winners of each regional met at a different site for the championship. The eight-team format continued for the next 11 years.

In those days, of course, the NCAA tournament was second fiddle to the NIT, which was played at New York's Madison Square Garden and regarded as the marquee college basketball tournament. Teams often bypassed the NCAA tournament to play in the NIT; in 1950, the City College of New York won both. Meanwhile, the NCAA's tournament found a niche. In 1951, the bracket was doubled to 16 teams, and in 1952 Seattle hosted the first true Final Four.

The next year, the tournament continued its slow and steady growth, with the bracket expanding to 22 schools; it would fluctuate between 22 and 25 teams through the 1974 edition. In 1956, the two regions were split into four. But a rule that had been in place since the very beginning still hampered the tournament: Only one team per conference could participate. This led to some major snubs – most notably the 1971 USC team, which went 24-2 (with both losses to No. 1 UCLA), and the 1974 Maryland squad, which finished the season No. 4 in the nation but didn't receive an invitation to the tournament after a 103-100 overtime loss to N.C. State in the ACC championship game.

NCAA Settles on 64 – for a While

In response to the Maryland and USC teams getting left out, in 1975 the NCAA opened the tournament to 32 teams and eliminated the rule limiting each conference to one bid. This began a period of rapid expansion for the tournament. In 1979, the number of teams was pushed to 40, and the NCAA began seeding the teams. The following year 48 teams took part, and 1983 brought the advent of play-in games.

Finally, the NCAA arrived at a comfortable number in 1985, when it widened the bracket to encompass 64 teams. But as the history of the bracket shows, it couldn't stay at 64 for too long. A catalyst for expansion arrived with the creation of the Mountain West Conference in 1999. With the bracket capped at 64 teams, the winner of the Mountain West Conference Tournament didn't receive an automatic bid in the conference's first two years of existence. The NCAA found a solution in 2001, creating an opening round game (or “play-in” game) between the 65th and 64th seeds at the University of Dayton Arena. The winner of that game becomes the lowest 16 seed.

As Coverage and Money Get Bigger, Will Bracket?

Although the NCAA has yet to have official discussions about expanding the bracket beyond 65 teams, there are substantial reasons to believe that more growth is, well, a slam dunk. In its first seven decades, the tournament went from an overlooked novelty to a three-week-long national holiday. With 347 programs in Division I, the tournament currently excludes more than four-fifths of the nation's teams. Capping the tournament at 65 would be like Wal-Mart deciding that 1,000 stores is enough. When a business model works (and this one does), there's only one direction in which to go.


Kid Cubao
03-22-2010, 04:56 PM
adding five more teams for an even 70 would be fine for now. masyado atang malaki kung tatalon sa 96 teams kaagad.

08-20-2011, 04:31 AM
Ilan na ba ang teams sa Phil. NCAA? Sampu? Ayos! Ang dami na! :D