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View Full Version : Plan to Improve Competition Pre-, Regular, and Postseasons (+ diversion from worries)



TravelinZag
04-23-2017, 05:01 AM
Establish a NAIA-type class for smaller schools and budgets, with its own postseason playoffs and championship. Certainly works well in football for the Dakotas, Delaware, Texas, California, etc. not to mention EWU. Allow D-1 schools to play only one or two games per season against teams in this class. Be honest: teams and conferences below a certain level almost never deserve or get an NCAA bid, simply serve as practice dummies for D-1 schools.

Limit NCAA bids to schools (not conferences) ranked 125 or better the previous year. Again, candor: rarely do teams below that level receive a bid, and usually takes at least two years to develop from below that level to NCAA tourney caliber. Plus, where the rare exception warrants it, the NCAA tournament committee could extend a D-1 dance bid to any school.

Restore the NCAA national tournament to 32 teams. Truth: how often do teams below #16 make the elite eight? A quality warm-up games (and cinderella shot) for those below that level. Do #33-125 teams truly merit a chance to be national champion at the top level? Football (admittedly a different sport with fewer games, including walkover home games against creampuffs.

Use a much stronger NIT tournament (even add a play-in round or two) for teams without a dance ticket. Perhaps provide finalists or semifinalists with guaranteed consideration the following season.

Result: better competition (and marketing) for all 351 current schools, stronger postseason tournaments, slight deemphasis of conferences. Even total revenues might improve over all season. Weight your objections against the above benefits.

The idea can certainly be improved. You are smart, and passionate, fans of college basketball; make your suggestions. As good as it is, Dr. Naismith's game can be improved, perhaps perfected.

In the meantime, Go Zag coaches. Get the team one or two good graduate-transfer front court players for next season. The backcourt will do, possibly excel. And players, get their butts back to Spokane soon after home visits and international competition. Or take a class or two during summer session to ease the academic pressures you face. Formal practices can't begin before a set date. But familiarity, on and off court can occur in pickup games, social activities etc., without coaches. Lots of new lineup combos next season will require time to gel.

LongIslandZagFan
04-23-2017, 05:05 AM
Establish a NAIA-type class for smaller schools and budgets, with its own postseason playoffs and championship. Certainly works well in football for the Dakotas, Delaware, Texas, California, etc. not to mention EWU. Allow D-1 schools to play only one or two games per season against teams in this class. Be honest: teams and conferences below a certain level almost never deserve or get an NCAA bid, simply serve as practice dummies for D-1 schools.

Limit NCAA bids to schools (not conferences) ranked 125 or better the previous year. Again, candor: rarely do teams below that level receive a bid, and usually takes at least two years to develop from below that level to NCAA tourney caliber. Plus, where the rare exception warrants it, the NCAA tournament committee could extend a D-1 dance bid to any school.

Restore the NCAA national tournament to 32 teams. Truth: how often do teams below #16 make the elite eight? A quality warm-up games (and cinderella shot) for those below that level. Do #33-125 teams truly merit a chance to be national champion at the top level? Football (admittedly a different sport with fewer games, including walkover home games against creampuffs.

Use a much stronger NIT tournament (even add a play-in round or two) for teams without a dance ticket. Perhaps provide finalists or semifinalists with guaranteed consideration the following season.

Result: better competition (and marketing) for all 351 current schools, stronger postseason tournaments, slight deemphasis of conferences. Even total revenues might improve over all season. Weight your objections against the above benefits.

The idea can certainly be improved. You are smart, and passionate, fans of college basketball; make your suggestions. As good as it is, Dr. Naismith's game can be improved, perhaps perfected.

In the meantime, Go Zag coaches. Get the team one or two good graduate-transfer front court players for next season. The backcourt will do, possibly excel. And players, get their butts back to Spokane soon after home visits and international competition. Formal practices can't begin before a set date. But familiarity, on and off court can occur in pickup games, social activities etc. without coaches. Lots of new lineup combos next season will require time to gel.

Put this in place in the mid -1990s and Gonzaga never sees a NC game. Period.

Zagger
04-23-2017, 05:19 AM
Take David vs Goliath out of it ..... yawn.

bartruff1
04-23-2017, 06:06 AM
Viewer ratings for March Madness were up about 10% this year (Championship Game up about 21%) when sports viewing is soft or even down nationwide ....record 88 million video streams and a 75% increase on social media....and on and on..

I don't think you gain anything by taking the " Madness" out of the programing...

TravelinZag
04-23-2017, 07:08 AM
Thanks for your comments, LIZ and Zagger, but how about some suggestions. Don you really believe the current system affords better opportunity to rise. The NCAA loves conferences because the provide the illusion of a national tournament without any chance that those they believe beneath them could become a threat. Gonzaga succeeded despite the system, not because of it. Pitiful though it is & despite the fact that a majority of its members do not wish to sully themselves by competing against those the view as "unwashed" compete in revenue-generating team sports, the WCC is better (in a bad year) than two-thirds of conferences. It worked out for Gonzaga, and paid huge dividends to the university and the city.

(Yes that was a shot at well-endowed Pepperdine; which nonetheless does not return its share of revenues. If only someday there were competitions in croquet or fox-hunting. Fine academic institution that must rue athletic competition on the campuses of Stanford, the University of California, or members of the Ivy league. Did I state they are snobs? No, merely implied it. Are there any scones remaining?)

Don't think you'll see many schools emulating the Zags who reside in a non-power conferences rated higher than the WCC or any rated lower. The present system stacks the deck in favor of "power conferences", even to the point of awarding bids to teams finishing 5th, 6th. 7th. 8th or worse in the chosen conferences. Say, NCAA, how did the ACC work out for you this year? Sort of an embarrassment to your pretense of an egalitarian national tournament which awards a chance to fail to at least one team per conference annually.

Yes you love your Davids -- Butler, Wichita State, VCU, the Zags, etc. -- provided they don't threaten to often, or God forbid, win a trophy more than once every generation or two. Although you've done nothing for the Zags, it must be remembered that you removed a twit from their state and region by promoting him to overpaid status as an icon for you own bureaucracy of incompetence. By the way, how are those investigations into academic rules violations coming along?

The bias of the NCAA does serve as a backdrop which magnifies Gonzaga's accomplishments. They made it to two final fours this year, including one the NCAA lacks jurisdiction over and thus has not tarnished through favoritism and hypocrisy.

Coach Crazy
04-23-2017, 08:14 AM
Wouldn't this make everything in the tourney even more elite and exclusive?

I understand what is intended here. However, it seems as though we have a bit of false dilemma. So, it's difficult to give suggestions about improving or adding to something that is not viewed as necessary.

It would be like if I said "hey, I got a great idea for how to solve your finger twitch. Let's just cut that hand off". It seems a bit drastic and does more harm than good.


Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk

TravelinZag
04-24-2017, 11:36 PM
Take David vs Goliath out of it ..... yawn.

Even better David and Goliath opportunities when confined to top 130+ schools. Better D vs G for developing programs, and some improved interest in the NIT. Plus, introduction of D vs G with a chance of winning for the 16 or so conferences (half of all) that produce only one or two 20+ game winners per year; a dozen of these feature a majority of members with records no better than a single game above .500. Change your angle of view: if NCAA football included 350+ teams in a single D-1 category, would the result be more victorious Davids, or more Davids slaughtered in ridiculous mismatches.

TravelinZag
04-24-2017, 11:57 PM
Viewer ratings for March Madness were up about 10% this year (Championship Game up about 21%) when sports viewing is soft or even down nationwide ....record 88 million video streams and a 75% increase on social media....and on and on..

I don't think you gain anything by taking the " Madness" out of the programing...

Viewership ratings for NCAA basketball games before February is declining, and a major problem that the NCAA is desperately trying to address now.

The madness results from 11, 12, 13 and 14 seeds pulling off upsets. The teams ranked below average don't contribute because the only tournaments they compete in are conference tournaments. They do serve as practice dummies to high-ranked teams who schedule them for early season home cupcake games. True top-level teams are not allowed to count games against D-2 or below schools. The rationale should also preclude, or sharply limit, "buy" games against teams whose RPI/BPI, KenPom etc. ratings demonstrate they are hopelessly outmatched.

MileHigh
04-25-2017, 04:59 AM
...the only difference between most low D1 schools and D2 schools is that the low D1's invest more money in their programs so that they can be D1 and have a chance at the tourney. You take that away and you would essentially relegate all the low D1 schools into D2 and create an unmanageable pool of over 500 teams in D2. Right now there are about 300 teams in each division which works well

TexasZagFan
04-25-2017, 06:29 AM
Thanks for your comments, LIZ and Zagger, but how about some suggestions. Don you really believe the current system affords better opportunity to rise. The NCAA loves conferences because the provide the illusion of a national tournament without any chance that those they believe beneath them could become a threat. Gonzaga succeeded despite the system, not because of it. Pitiful though it is & despite the fact that a majority of its members do not wish to sully themselves by competing against those the view as "unwashed" compete in revenue-generating team sports, the WCC is better (in a bad year) than two-thirds of conferences. It worked out for Gonzaga, and paid huge dividends to the university and the city.

(Yes that was a shot at well-endowed Pepperdine; which nonetheless does not return its share of revenues. If only someday there were competitions in croquet or fox-hunting. Fine academic institution that must rue athletic competition on the campuses of Stanford, the University of California, or members of the Ivy league. Did I state they are snobs? No, merely implied it. Are there any scones remaining?)

Don't think you'll see many schools emulating the Zags who reside in a non-power conferences rated higher than the WCC or any rated lower. The present system stacks the deck in favor of "power conferences", even to the point of awarding bids to teams finishing 5th, 6th. 7th. 8th or worse in the chosen conferences. Say, NCAA, how did the ACC work out for you this year? Sort of an embarrassment to your pretense of an egalitarian national tournament which awards a chance to fail to at least one team per conference annually.

Yes you love your Davids -- Butler, Wichita State, VCU, the Zags, etc. -- provided they don't threaten to often, or God forbid, win a trophy more than once every generation or two. Although you've done nothing for the Zags, it must be remembered that you removed a twit from their state and region by promoting him to overpaid status as an icon for you own bureaucracy of incompetence. By the way, how are those investigations into academic rules violations coming along?

The bias of the NCAA does serve as a backdrop which magnifies Gonzaga's accomplishments. They made it to two final fours this year, including one the NCAA lacks jurisdiction over and thus has not tarnished through favoritism and hypocrisy.

Here's my partial solution: limit game payouts to no more than 50% of the teams in a conference. For example, Power A conference sends 10 of their 16 teams to the Dance. My idea limits the payout to the first 8 teams, the money from the other two goes to a pool to be distributed to non-power conferences. Probably wouldn't amount to much, but more money could be sent to programs operating on shoe string budgets.

Just my $.02, but if you can't play above .500 in your own conference, you should be disqualified. I know Power 5 schools would gripe and moan, but as we all know, life isn't fair. These programs are already raking in millions of dollars, sounds like they need to get a bigger bang for their buck.

We've had just one year that I know of where we had a top-40 year in recruiting, the class of 2016. If I'm a fan of a big school, consistently with touted recruiting classes, I'm going to ask questions. The answer I don't want to hear is that the Zags play in the WCC, that's a weak way out.

willandi
04-25-2017, 07:27 AM
Here's my partial solution: limit game payouts to no more than 50% of the teams in a conference. For example, Power A conference sends 10 of their 16 teams to the Dance. My idea limits the payout to the first 8 teams, the money from the other two goes to a pool to be distributed to non-power conferences. Probably wouldn't amount to much, but more money could be sent to programs operating on shoe string budgets.

Just my $.02, but if you can't play above .500 in your own conference, you should be disqualified. I know Power 5 schools would gripe and moan, but as we all know, life isn't fair. These programs are already raking in millions of dollars, sounds like they need to get a bigger bang for their buck.

We've had just one year that I know of where we had a top-40 year in recruiting, the class of 2016. If I'm a fan of a big school, consistently with touted recruiting classes, I'm going to ask questions. The answer I don't want to hear is that the Zags play in the WCC, that's a weak way out.

I agree with this.

How about taking the automatic qualifiers and put them on a list, starting with the highest rated by BPI, KenPom or whatever. (32 auto qualifiers are your top 32 seeds).

Take a list of the rest of the D1 schools minus those that aren't .500 in conference play (and didn't WIN the conference tourney) and, using the same KenPom, the next 36 teams fill out the brackets, with the last four playing the play-in games.

Cover all the names and blind seed based on position on the list, no exceptions for conference affiliation. The chips fall where they may. No committee bias involved. Assign the pods w/o taking into consideration the teams with the caveat that the #1 seeds cannot play in their home state, or with-in a 200 mile radius in the first round, to take away the home court/fans advantage that UNC, Duke, Kansas etc, currently enjoy.

CDC84
04-25-2017, 07:38 AM
The NCAA tournament is the single greatest sporting event in the universe, and it's massive popularity (25+% of US office workers participate in a pool beyond what just goes on in Vegas/AC)) is largely based on the "little" guy taking on goliath. If you chop that off, CBS/Turner will pay a fraction of what it does to broadcast the games. The huge amount of casual fans who tune into college basketball just in March won't tune in. Plus, there is just the whole tradition....the round of 32, the S-16, the Elite 8, the national semis, the title games.....each step matters to a program. Each step is a pillar.

You don't touch something that's nearly perfect. And is a money making machine.

The one thing that I might consider doing, and I do not how feasible it is, is to reduce the amount of D-1 college basketball teams. There are just too many of them. But the tournament.....no, don't touch it it's basic structure. It's a work of art.

LongIslandZagFan
04-25-2017, 07:48 AM
Here is why the original premise fails. Take a low D1 team like LIU Brooklyn. Believe it or not, they were actually in discussions with Larry Brown to coach the team next year. Yes, that Larry Brown. Ultimately, they went with Derek Kellogg who comes from the Calapari coaching tree. Not quite Larry Brown... but a vast improvement on what they had. With the original premise, what is LIU's incentive to improve themselves exactly? Why would they bother to spend the money to get a good coach if they are relegated from the get go? It is the default relegation that is the problem. Again, go back to the mid-90s and do this and the Zags are just a second tier team, forever stuck in the second tier thanks to that structure. You'd never have runs like George Mason, back to back NC games by Butler, deep runs by a Steph Curry led Davidson team. They'd all be relegated to mediocrity by the system. My suggestion, since you asked, is to not touch a thing. You want to increase competition... make P5 teams play home and homes instead of letting them force everyone to play them at home... that'd be a good start. But forcing schools into a second tier isn't the answer, it is horribly wrong.

bartruff1
04-25-2017, 08:08 AM
If you just can't leave well enough alone, the only thing I would change is give more bids to Season Conference Championship winners who lose in the Conference Tournaments ... and yes.....

I don't think Conferences would fix the Tournaments to get a extra bid...

The benefits would not compare to the potential costs ( fines, suspensions, ect.....) ..... there are no successful conspiracies in todays social media world where the rewards for being a " tattle tale " are so great....

That would increase the number of David's and might make a incremental increase in madness and in ratings...

IMHO of course

TravelinZag
04-25-2017, 03:54 PM
Thanks for your excellent and thoughtful responses. I agree with you on not changing the tournament much. All I would like to see is some of the weaker teams and conferences be sent to play in the NIT with some of the very good power conferencre team that finished 5-8, in their power conferences. This gives lower ranked, but winning records and conference with lower ratings a chance to "break out" against good competition. Most of these teams virtually no chance to have a deep run in the NCAA D-1, but give all D-1A (or whatever you want to call them) a chance to develop and shine the following year in the dance. In the case of an extraordinary D-1A team, the NCAA could award them a bid immediately. Some teams of third quality are better than some teams getting dance bids under the current format. It greatly improves the NIT field, giving all participants an opportunity to make the main tournament the following season, Yes, it would mean that some teams from "power" leagues get dropped to the NIT for a year. They weren't very likely to win the big dance anyway (again check the records), but improves them and makes their case for earlier consideration the following season along with weaker conference foes (like those with great great overall records who stumbled in their conference tourney final) the opportunity to show a national audience they may belong in the dance next year.

Don't see a problem: more good teams get to play in an improved NIT, the dance has fewer teams that aren't ready for national competition (yet), etc. Might have to add an addition tournament (32 teams?) for those major or minor teams who showed promise, just not enough, Net result is over 100 teams who played well competing in post-season games against good competition. Still somewhat "exclusive", but these are young men and women who are far past the kindergarten mantra of "every child gets a ribbon." Life may not be fair, but tweaks can improve chances for nearly a third of all 350 D-1 teams.

For the rest, practice, practice, parctice OR adjust your reality. Opportunity, not results, is supposed to be equal. Most of us did not become astronauts, brain surgeons, successful entrepreneurs, Ivy League professors, Major League MVPs or whatever we had our young hearts set on. But that is no reason to restrict opportunity for those who have the capability to achieve it. Change the system, and give more talented players the chance to compete, And if that means your alma mater, which finished eighth in its conference didn't get a dance bid, suck it up. There's always the NIT, next year, and the rest of your life.

(Full disclosure: my conviction does weaken a bit if the Zags are involved. But here's the thing: they have earned some irrational loyalty over two decades, and when puberty hit and I looked at myself and my parents, then at the other guys, I knew, and painfully had to accept, that if success was coming my way, it was not going to be in basketball!)

Go Zags! And go Zag fans like you, who can rationally discuss and disagree about a game we love, even as the sting of Phoenix hasn't disappeared. Pity we and our colleagues can't seem to do that about more serious matters. And at the risk of being accused of irrational hope: SEE YOU IN SAN ANTONIO!

sittingon50
04-26-2017, 12:20 PM
The NCAA tournament is the single greatest sporting event in the universe, and it's massive popularity (25+% of US office workers participate in a pool beyond what just goes on in Vegas/AC)) is largely based on the "little" guy taking on goliath. If you chop that off, CBS/Turner will pay a fraction of what it does to broadcast the games. The huge amount of casual fans who tune into college basketball just in March won't tune in. Plus, there is just the whole tradition....the round of 32, the S-16, the Elite 8, the national semis, the title games.....each step matters to a program. Each step is a pillar.

You don't touch something that's nearly perfect. And is a money making machine.

The one thing that I might consider doing, and I do not how feasible it is, is to reduce the amount of D-1 college basketball teams. There are just too many of them. But the tournament.....no, don't touch it it's basic structure. It's a work of art.

http://www.espn.com/chalk/story/_/id/19248470/record-4395-million-bet-basketball-nevada-march

CDC84
04-26-2017, 12:50 PM
Record $439.5 million bet on basketball in March

I love when a number like this comes out, and then the NCAA distances themselves from it from a PR standpoint. In truth, it's what drives their tournament, and they know it.