The NCAA begins debate today in Indianapolis about how to best implement the new 68-team March Madness. While that could seem pretty cut and dry, the issue is something real to debate. As Andy Katz mentioned in this Daily Word today, there are basically two options on the table for the 3-team expansion-
1. The first (and perhaps easiest) model is to create 4 play-in games with the winner claiming the 16th seed in each region. This would make the most sense and be the easiest to implement. But of course easy can’t be easy, can it? For starters, the smaller conferences won’t go along with this willingly and secondly, CBS will fight it because these games aren’t going to receive high ratings.
2. The second model would take the last 8 at-large teams and pit them against each other. And since there will be a little separation between those 8 schools, they will be playing for 10 or 12 seeds in the tournament.
I was relieved when I heard that the tournament was only going to 68 teams. That seemed manageable, but when you actually put it down on paper, you see that it starts getting a little tricky and, in my opinion, starts to dilute the Madness a little bit. True, this is much better than 96 teams, but even still I’m afraid this is taking a step in the wrong direction. Discuss.