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NCAA will not expand men’s basketball tournament

The NCAA Tournament will not have 1,783 teams in 2021.

Wednesday afternoon the ACC proposed creating an expanded field for the coronavirus-plagued 2021 postseason. Did Coach K want 132 teams instead of 64? Nope. The ACC coaches proposed including all 346 eligible Division I teams in the expanded 2021 version of the NCAA Tournament.

The radical idea was quickly dismissed by many and embraced by some. Ultimately, the decision-makers at the NCAA did not give the proposal much time to be a possible option the NCAA explores this fall. Thursday morning Dan Gavitt released the following message through Andy Katz, stating the NCAA does not currently plan on expanding the NCAA Tournament field in 2021.

@TheAndyKatz

Expanding the field to 346 is pure (March) madness, but expanding the field to 120 teams or so is an idea many pundits have kicked around to even the field as non-conference schedules shrink across the country, limiting a small school’s ability to build its resume. According to Gavitt, any expansion of the field is currently not on the table.

We will soon have a better idea of what college basketball will look like this year. The Division I Council is expected to set a start date for the 2020-21 college basketball season on Monday, Sept. 14.

Article written by Nick Roush

"Look upon the doughnut, and not upon the hole." @RoushKSR

1 Comment for NCAA will not expand men’s basketball tournament



  1. wesmorgan1
    10:27 am September 10, 2020 Permalink

    That was a stupid idea from the start; the NCAA is already considering a ‘bubble’ for March Madness, and the ACC coaches want a 340-team tournament? That’s nuts, especially when one considers how the NCAA distributes revenue from the basketball tournament (through the conferences over a six-year period).

    Nonetheless, it’s fun to picture that bracket…especially if we forget pool play and draw up single-elimination all the way through…in each region:

    * Top 8 seeds in each region get double byes to third-round-of-64
    * Next 8 seeds in each region get single byes to second-round-of-64
    * 4-team play-ins for 13 first-round-of-64 spots (formerly #1-#13 seeds)
    * 6-team play-ins for 3 first-round-of-64 spots (formerly #14-#16 seeds)

    That gives us 88 teams in each region, 344 teams overall (there will be some teams not participating due to probation)

    “First Four” would become “First Week”, with 280 teams competing for 64 spots. Then, we’d have two new rounds of 64, as the 64 play-in winners go against each other, then those winners take on the single-bye seeds. The third round of 64, with the double-bye seeds, would start the tournament proper as we know it today – 64 to 32 to Sweet 16 to Elite 8 to Final 4.

    The CBS Selection Show would need at least 6 hours…