The NCAA Tournament to get some major scrutinizing

Bob Huggins of West Virginia and John Calipari of Kentucky headline over a dozen coaches examining the selection of teams, along with the seeding and bracketing process

This might be the most important blog affecting men’s college basketball over this entire summer, again IMHO.

According to an article posted by The Associated Press on June 13, this ad hoc committee was announced by the National Association of Basketball Coaches.  FYI–the NABC usually teams up with the NCAA on key matters affecting the sport.

Over the next several weeks, the selection, seeding and bracketing processes will no doubt get discussed, sliced, diced and who knows what changes could be made–if any at all.

Past NABC committees have worked with the NCAA as rules for student-athletes were adjusted for underclassmen that were declaring for the NBA draft and also to consider the demands placed on athletes’ time.

NABC executive director Jim Haney along with former SEC commissioner Mike Slive will co-chair the committee in Kansas City.  Other notables on the committee include coaches such as Steve Fisher of San Diego State, Mark Few of Gonzaga, and Mark Turgeon of Maryland.  Administrators from the likes of Dan Guerrero and Doug Elgin, along with consultants Dan Davitt and Reggie Minton will be some of the notables attending this meeting.

If I had a say on what changes could be made to the tournament we all love so very much each March, it would be two-fold:

  1. Limit the number of teams seeded 15 and 16 from playing the elite teams.  These games are usually over by the second media time out, that fans are usually forced to change the channel on their cable remote or tap the March Madness app to another game on Westwood One Radio.  I would have them play some teams that are around the 7 to 10 pecking line instead, since usually the schools that ended up on the 10 line are usually the last to get the invites.  Unless the field is expanded to (dare I say, 88 teams or a higher number), the quality of play will get diluted faster than when the first pair of Canadian baseball teams suited up in Montreal in 1969 and snowy Toronto with the Blue Jays maiden voyage in 1977.
  2. Why are there so many late night games in the first two rounds?  The CBS model has worked for many years, but the only reason why I feel the Turner outlets are making the games start later and later–especially during the first weekend in the Second Round is that the West Coast natives and any tourists can get home in time from either relaxing on the beaches or going shopping up and down Rodeo Drive.  Instead, have the later games tip about 45 minutes to an hour earlier–pending if any of the first wave of games end up in overtime.

It will be interesting to see what types of developments emerge from this meeting, and if any immediate impact could be felt for years to come.  Stay tuned.



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