NCAA considering 353-team tournament for basketball season?
The 2020 men’s and women’s NCAA Tournaments were canceled due to the coronavirus pandemic, but the next college basketball tournament we see may be the biggest one ever.
A source from the ACC told Dan Wolken of USA Today on Wednesday that the NCAA is considering having a tournament this upcoming season that includes every single team. That would be a field of 353. Wolken is “skeptical” that it will actually happen, but apparently plenty of people are in favor of the idea.
I'm skeptical but just talked to an ACC source who really thinks there's a good chance the NCAA go for a 353-team NCAA Tournament. The league is unanimously behind it from commissioner on down.
— Dan Wolken (@DanWolken) September 9, 2020
The goal, according to Wolken, would be to give smaller programs an incentive to play the 2020-21 season. Many of those schools struggle to make money anyway, let alone if fans are not allowed at games. Having everyone take part in a massive tournament would be a way to generate revenue.
If the NCAA did hold a tournament with every team, several bubble sites could be used to eliminate the need for extensive travel. It’s possible that is what the NCAA had in mind when it filed for this recent trademark.
There has been talk for years about expanding the NCAA Tournament field, though no one ever envisioned including all 353 teams. It still seems like a stretch, but we know by now that anything can happen amid the coronavirus pandemic.