Grade A Certified

Everybody’s Invited! (by J. Tinsley)

Posted by Ms. Aivee on February 3, 2010

Of all postseason formats, NCAA basketball, by far, has the most successful and entertaining. There aren’t many more stressful and exciting moments in sports than when a person goes to fill out their bracket. Picking the upsets, calling the Final Four, damn near non-stop college ball for over a month straight. Yep, it’s a small slice of heaven for a good three weeks or so.

Obviously someone has a few good “yes-men” in their corner because the NCAA’s newest idea has them increasing the field from 65…to 96. As in four less than 100, 96. As in now my alma mater, Hampton University, can be the 24 seed in one of the four regions (pending they keep four) and get blasted by some national powerhouse by 75 points.

“I think nobody would disagree that the 65-team, three-week event … has worked,” says Delany, a former chairman of the NCAA committee that runs the men’s tournament. “You have David vs. Goliath. You have all sorts of internal story lines year in and year out. It’s compelling. It’s one of the great sports properties in the world.

“I have no problem with looking at expansion, whether it’s small or big. I only say that issue is one that must be managed openly and transparently, (and) I have concerns that it’s not.”

Expansion? Why? March Madness ain’t broke, and it damn sure doesn’t need fixing. Seeing as how there are approximately 360 (give or take a few) teams which can actually make the tournament in the first place, having the “top 96″ advance is ridiculous. The majority of college basketball consumers only want to see a handful of teams play anyway. Adding another 31 squads makes about as much sense as saying Elvis trumps Michael Jackson skill-wise.

Wake Forest athletics director Ron Wellman, a member of the 10-person committee that oversees the men’s tournament, says he likes the idea of giving more players on more teams the opportunity to experience the event. He, too, questions whether expansion would rob conferences of regular-season and postseason tournament drama, but counters, “Those teams that have typically been out of it in February, now those games become more important.

“I am interested in expansion. I think there are some benefits to it,” he says. “But i think we have to be very careful as we go down this path.”

Don’t expect this to secure a final decision until sometime this summer with a new president is named. A few days ago in class, a student from England brought up an interesting point. He said something to the extent that in America, the love of money is so intense, we sometimes destroy traditions which make our society unique from any other in the world.

Case in point, ruining a perfectly good postseason tournament for the love of dead white men on green pieces of paper.

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One Response to “Everybody’s Invited! (by J. Tinsley)”

  1. Classic Ice said

    March Madness is a gift to all basketball fans to get them over the hump into the nba playoffs. Im mad they got 65, you shouldnt have to play into to the big dance. 64 was just fine

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