Our buddy Joey Brackets has bit the bullet and released a 96-team bracket, saying it’s more than likely that it will be in effect for March Madness 2011. And since our foundation for next season was poured yesterday, it’s never too early to start thinking about next season.
I thought I was angry before when there was just talk and I hadn’t even seen the bracket, but now that I have a somewhat decent idea of what it could look like next March, I’m even more pissed. The reasons against the bracket have been discussed ad naseum, so I won’t get back into that here. But what becomes painfully evident by one look at this bracket is having a 1-seed just doesn’t matter anymore. In fact, it doesn’t matter if you get an 1 or you get an 8. You’re still going to be playing a similarly strong (by 64-team standards) bubble team that is very capable of beating you on any given night.
I predict that this tournament goes into effect next year, a 1-seed loses in the first round and the general public outcry is so great that it reverts back to a 64 team tournament in 2012. I may be naive (and that’s not the worst thing you all have called me), but I just don’t see this as anything more than an experiment. There is no way this tournament that trivializes the regular season, rewards average teams, and clearly messes up seedings can be sustained.