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Calipari only in favor of expanding NCAA Tournament field for mid-majors

Photo by @SethWEmerson

Photo by @SethWEmerson

A newly bearded John Calipari is at the SEC Spring Meetings in Destin today and told reporters he was in favor the ACC’s proposal to increase the NCAA Tournament field from 68 teams to 72 — with one big caveat. Per Brett McMurhpy, Cal said he would only support the expansion if the additional four spots went to mid-majors or lower-level schools, not Power 5 programs.

The ACC shared the proposal a few weeks ago at their spring meetings, pushing for an expansion of the First Four play-in games to include a second site out west to mirror the one in Dayton.

“The idea of having two First Fours, if you will, maybe geographic,” ACC Commissioner John Swofford told reporters in Florida, according to the Raleigh News & Observer. “That’s such a quick turnaround. You could have one maybe in Dayton and one in the western part of the states. But we will be proposing that [to the NCAA].”

I’m already not a huge fan of the First Four to begin with, but if this proposal does go through, I agree with Cal that it should only be limited to mid-majors. Otherwise, it’s just job security for the coaches of mediocre Power 5 programs who don’t deserve to be in the tournament in the first place.

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Article written by Mrs. Tyler Thompson

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18 Comments for Calipari only in favor of expanding NCAA Tournament field for mid-majors



  1. JTHinton
    3:46 pm May 30, 2018 Permalink

    It’ll just make it harder to fill out a bracket…



  2. JTHinton
    3:46 pm May 30, 2018 Permalink

    But it would make the bubble less bloated; teams like MTSU or NKU would’ve made it last year



  3. Geo_Armstrong
    4:00 pm May 30, 2018 Permalink

    The first four (or eight) should not include any team that won their conference tournament. The play-ins should be for all 12 seeds and 11 seeds with expansion.



    • rickwhitetx
      4:02 pm May 30, 2018 Permalink

      I absolutely agree. Play-in games must only be for the last 8 in and not limited to mid-majors or lower.



  4. secrick
    4:00 pm May 30, 2018 Permalink

    Leave a good thing alone.



  5. BBNDan7
    4:07 pm May 30, 2018 Permalink

    Or, hear me out, we expand this thing to everyone and just have 24 rounds until the actual tournament. That sounds fun

  6. Then you lost the alliteration of “First Four”. Maybe “Great Eight”?



  7. CB3UK
    4:26 pm May 30, 2018 Permalink

    What a terrible idea. They need to be getting rid of the first four games. Not adding on. Lets devalue the regular season even further. College football needs 8, college basketball needs 32. Are we trying to crown a champion and give teams that actually EARNED the right to compete for one or are we handing out feel good participation trophies?



    • JTHinton
      5:23 pm May 30, 2018 Permalink

      32….are you suggesting only conference champs qualify?



  8. catdaddyd
    12:51 am May 31, 2018 Permalink

    64 is perfect, I rather go back to 48 than add more teams.



  9. wesmorgan1
    8:41 am May 31, 2018 Permalink

    They’re going for the same model as bowl games – $$$,$$$,$$$.

    With 130 Division I FBS teams and 40 bowl games, 61% of the FBS “gets a bowl game.”

    Given 350 Division I basketball programs, the NCAA’s OBVIOUS goal is a tournament field of around 210.

    (OK, I’m snarking – they’ll stop at 128.)

    Were it left to me, I’d dump the First Four and go back to 64, like so:

    * For conferences with no postseason tournament, take the regular season winner and runner-up.
    * For conferences with a postseason tournament:
    * Regular season winner goes
    * Tournament winner goes
    * If same team wins both tournament and regular season, regular season runner-up goes
    * No at-large bids

    Since there are currently 32 conferences, this fits perfectly.