View Full Version : Better NCAA Tourney

02-08-2013, 10:10 AM
For future years only, and involving MINOR changes. Given that the play-in round is a farce, and each year a few good (not great) teams miss the dance while a few ridiculous ones takes their places,

1. Allow the NCAA to choose between the regular season (consistency) champion and the conference tournament champion (hot for 3-4 days at the end of the season) for the automatic bid based on better team (record, RPI, whatever);

2. Apply the "better than a coin flip" rule: if a team does not win a majority of its games against D-1 competition, no dance;

3. Apply same rule to automatic slots: a team must win a majority of its conference games, no dance (Note: football goes almost this far, yet each year several 6-6 teams go to a bowl for their "excellent?" season).

Lower ranked teams won't compete with no dance tickets involved? Don't undersell the competitiveness of these young athletes or the excitement of knocking off the dance-bound conference champs! Will there still be upsets in the dance? Probably more, as specious dancers are replaced by teams among the top 80 or so.

Just expand the tournament? Is extra (profit?) worth denigrating the product? How many venues of a 96 or 128 team tournament's first round would not have empty seats prominently displayed on national television? Would the dance be better, still reward "excellence"? Or just larger?

Better ideas? Bring 'em. Bigger changes? Another thread.

02-08-2013, 10:26 AM
This philosophy would negatively impact high achieving conferences. Illinois is something like 3 and 7 in the powerful big ten. BYU has a much better conference record, for example, but BYU isn't half the team Illinois is

02-08-2013, 10:30 AM
Expanding the tournament would be a disaster. Recent tournaments have featured at least 6 or 7 teams who really didn't belong in the thing. It's not going to happen anyway because CBS doesn't want expansion. They call the shots....not the NCAA, not whining coaches.

I have always hated the automatic qualifying nature of the postseason conference tournaments, but ESPN won't show the Atlantic Sun tournament final unless a NCAA bid is at stake. Sadly, the Atlantic Sun cares more about getting a game on ESPN than putting its best team in the dance....the team most likely to spring an upset. Normally I would say that the auto bid should go to the regular season conference winner but that's problematic now with most conferences having unbalanced schedules and with so many leagues having different divisions.

02-08-2013, 10:39 AM
Don't change a thing.

Edit: actually, go back to 65 teams. And call the first round the first round, second the second, third the sweet sixteen, and so on...

Martin Centre Mad Man
02-08-2013, 11:03 AM
I'd leave it mostly alone, but I would get rid of the play-in games and go back to 64 teams. Too many of the bubble teams that have made the dance following the expansion to 68 teams just didn't look like they belonged in the tournament. The VCU team that went from the play-in game to the Final Four is an obvious exception, but the recent expansion is not about making slots for VCU. It's about making sure that .500 teams from the Big Six leagues get in.

02-08-2013, 11:29 AM
I don't believe they can completely get rid of the play in games without reducing the amount of at large bids that are handed out. There are too many conferences now with auto bids.

Once and Future Zag
02-08-2013, 12:04 PM
My thoughts from back when a 96 team tourney seemed to be in the works.


02-08-2013, 12:55 PM
I don't believe they can completely get rid of the play in games without reducing the amount of at large bids that are handed out. There are too many conferences now with auto bids.

Or, there are too many at large bids. Depends on your perspective. I tend not to agree with the BCS view that a set number of at large bids are their birthright.

All conference champs get in, and the remaining spots up to 64 are at large. Seems like a reasonable approach to me.

02-08-2013, 01:32 PM
Completely agree with you about conference tournaments, 6-7 teams each year that don't belong, no expansion of the tournament. I seek to reduce the 6-7 by eliminating the conference tournament winner as the automatic qualifier and requiring teams to win the majority of games to dance. ZagsObserver thought this would hurt successful leagues; not necessarily. Last March, 8 Big East dancers. Only two did not win 50%+1 of conf games; they got at-large (& won most of all games.) But no 8-10 conf tourney winners could get the automatic bid, & would have to qualify for an at-large (which they couldn't do w/ a .500 or worse record.