NCAA Has No Plans to Expand Past Current 68-Team Tournament Field
Many people (us included) were freaking out when reports throughout last year’s college basketball season suggested the NCAA tournament would expand to a 96-team field. It got to the point where the plans for expansion were said to be a done deal. What was really going on is that reports were leaked in order for the NCAA to gauge public opinion. They probably figured most fans would be delighted to have more games to watch and (shhh) bet on during March Madness. Turns out the public outcry against the move was pretty strong, so the plans were altered.
Ultimately the NCAA decided to expand to a 68-team field that includes extra play-in games. Additionally, CBS and Turner came together on a television deal that should keep the NCAA and the participating schools rolling in the cash they were seeking. So with the new TV deal in hand, that means we can forget about plans for expansion, right? Sure seems like that is the case.
Ohio State athletic director Gene Smith, the new chairman of the men’s basketball committee, said Wednesday “There are no plans for further expansion. It isn’t even on our radar screen.” You know the best part of the story? Public pressure from the fans is what kept the tournament field from expanding. See what kind of power we have when we bind together for a cause? Now if we could only do something about replay in baseball …