Archive for Tuesday, March 13, 2007

Big 12 coaches support expansion

March 13, 2007


— Syracuse coach Jim Boeheim has plenty of support from Big 12 coaches for expanding the NCAA Tournament.

Boeheim, a longtime proponent of including more teams in the field, was flabbergasted Sunday when the Orange were snubbed by the selection committee. That brought another round of calls from coaches on Monday to expand the tournament to at least 68 teams, if not more.

"If the field is designed to get the best 64 teams in - if that was the design - then from that standpoint you'd think it needs to be modified," said Kansas University coach Bill Self, figuring a handful of automatic bids go each year to teams that otherwise would not make the cut.

Expanding the tournament has become a hot-button conversation piece that regularly bridges the gap between selection Sunday and the start of the NCAA Tournament Thursday. It's the rallying cry of every fan whose team was passed over and every coach whose job security is measured by postseason appearances.

The last major tournament expansion came in 1985, which increased the field from 53 to 64 teams. The NCAA added a play-in game in 2001, when the number of automatic bids increased from 30 to 31.

Meanwhile, the posts on the dance floor have become harder to earn.

Since 1985, the number of Division I programs has ballooned from 282 to 336. The swell has been most pronounced since 1993, when a reduction in the number of scholarships a program can award from 15 to 13 spread talent among more teams and created more parity than ever.

Self said the number of mid-majors that reached the NCAA Tournament last season demonstrated how level the playing field has become.

Those berths came at the expense of conferences such as the ACC and Big 12, which had the same number of participants as the Missouri Valley.

"There's just so many good teams these days, and so many good players," said Texas A&M; coach Billy Gillispie. "I don't know the perfect number, but I definitely think we should expand."


speedy 10 years, 11 months ago

i,ve said it before so here it is again! expand at least the teams that play to get in. name 62 teams. then name 4 more to play a game to get in those winners. thats still 64 teams. that should cut down on the crying. that would have allowed kansas st.,air force,syracuse, and ?? to get a chance! of course i,d go along with getting everyone to get in too. just cut out a couple of Nov. games. every one deserves a chance!

Linda Endicott 10 years, 11 months ago

Even if you expanded the tournament to include ALL division one teams, someone would still be crying foul...over what seed they were, or what region they were placed in, who they have to play, or where they have to play.

You can't make everybody happy, no matter how hard you try.

Besides, if you included all division one schools in the NCAA tourney, what would happen to the NIT? It was here first, and is still a good tourney.

Matter of fact, in the olden days, teams were allowed to be in BOTH the NIT and NCAA tourneys.

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