So, floating around today is a new early season tournament idea put together by Daniel Uthman of USA Today Sports. The idea is pretty simple. It’s a 16-team tournament taking place in December each year at four different locations with the Final Four being played at Madison Square Garden or the Barclay’s Center. Uthman has the idea that places like The Palestra, UD Arena and The Pit would be hosts for the first two rounds.
The idea is to garner more interest in college hoops at the end of the college football season. So, Uthman says the games would have been played on December 9, 11, 17 and 19 this past year where the only competition is the Army-Navy game and the Heisman.
So, who would these teams be? Uthman pitches the teams that made the Sweet 16 the year prior, with the winner being guaranteed a spot into the NCAA Tournament. The teams would be seeded in the summer by a committee much like the NCAA Tournament.
Frankly, I’m all for this. This tournament would almost always include Kentucky, which gives us another stage to play big games, even if it means not playing in the CBS Sports Classic or Champions Classic. The idea that the winning team gets a berth will turn some people off, but I think that’s what would make this intriguing. Take for instance a team like Wichita State from last year, who is typically in a one or two-bid conference. Playing in this would give them more incentive to play well and solidify its program. For teams like Kentucky, losing in this event isn’t the end of the world because of the likelihood of winning its conference.
Would you want to see this Starting 16 Tournament come into play?