As I sit here watching the Sunday games of the NCAA tournament and i reflect on the first five days of this years tournament i can’t help but wonder how much better this tournament would be if the NCAA fixed a few of the flaws this event has. I’ve been a College Basketball fan since about the age of 12, Go Tarheels!, and i have always enjoyed March Madness the way the NCAA has presented it. Who doesn’t love no-name kids from the smallest colleges around hitting end of the game buzzer beaters to upend big name schools in a tournament designed for big name schools to win, anyone have a clue where Bryce Drew is these days?. Outside of a couple rivalry games in February and a few beginning of the season tournaments, the regular season has become increasingly meaningless. Why does the Conference champion have to prove itself again in a conference tournament?. This is one of 5 areas of the tournament that i will give my opinions on how to fix.
- Make the regular season mean something by at least giving the conference champion an automatic bid.
I have never understood why the champion has to prove themselves twice!!. If the best team in a lower tier conference has an overall record of 26-5, a 13-1 conference record and then gets beat in the championship game of their conference tournament that team no longer has a shot at an at-large selection because 14-18 University got hot for four or five days. This is not selecting the best 68 teams to participate in the tournament like the committee likes to tell us. What the NCAA should do is award the regular season champion with an automatic bid to the tournament and if another team proceeds to win the conference tournament, then that team may be a possible at-large selection. Thus we are insured the beat team from that conference gets to play in the big tournament and the team that gets hot can sit and wait if the committee deems them tournament worthy. With this process the regular season would mean something and we would actually get the best 68 teams in the field.
- Make the final 8 “bubble” teams play each other for the right to get into the field of 64.
Another process i have never understood since the NCAA expanded to 65 and now 68 teams. Why does a team who proved itself by winning their conference tournament now be relegated to play in the “play-in” game?. Bubble teams are called bubble teams because they have not done enough in the regular season to be considered a definite at large selection. The NCAA should take a page out of the ESPN created Bracket Buster weekend ( created for smaller schools to add a signature win to their resume) and now make the final 8 bubble teams play each other to which the winners of these games are added as the final 4 teams in the field, more on this one below. This seems like the biggest no-brainer of all the quirks with this tournament.
- Create intriguing storyline matchups purposely.
I have heard many an expert say the committee pays no attention to possible storylines for matchups, why is that? wouldn’t it make sense to add even more of a reason to give people to watch your event? Not that everyone would care about every possible storyline the committee could create but wouldn’t it be nice if Steve Lavin of past UCLA coaching fame could now take his St. Johns team into the tournament and possibly face UCLA in a 7-10 first round match or give these teams an even bigger incentive to win their first round game with a possible second round matchup? There are a plethora of opportunities for this including..
- Get rid of the rule that same conference teams cannot meet until the second round.
Who’s terrible idea is this? Lets say in a down year ( i know it doesnt happen much for either team) that Duke and North Carolina have midlevel seasons by their standards, why wouldn’t the NCAA match them up in an 8-9 first round matchup for even more intrigue!!. UCONN vs Syracuse to go to move on to the 2nd round? or how about Tom Izzo vs Thad Matta to advance out of the first round? possibilities are endless and this would go with #3 of creating intriguing storylines/matchups/rivalries…and finally
- Retool the whole bracket to eliminate the 1 vs 16 and 2 vs 15 matchups.
Yeah a 15 seed has won four times in this format, but not since 2001 and a 16 seed has never won against a number 1 seed, with only a small handful of those games that could be considered competitive. Give the #1 seeds a bye into the round of 32 automatically and play the remaining 64 teams first. This way we can eliminate the never competitive, always boring after 3 minutes of play 1 vs 16 matchup. To make this work they could still take the final 8 bubble teams and pit them against each other in an opening round format with the winners becoming part of the 60 field, minus the four #1 seeds. The winning bubble teams become the 16 or 15 seeds, and i believe this would make the games more competitive and more enjoyable for all to watch.
Would these 5 changes work? maybe, maybe not, but i think anything besides what we have now could make the tournament as a whole more enjoyable for the college basketball loving fan in all of us.
Just try out these new changes for a change and I am sure things will change for the better as long as you do so regularly with occasional visites to 토토사이트 to warm things up a bit with your buddies will make practice sessions far more enjoyable and entertaining.