Wednesday, March 10, 2010
WHY MESS WITH A PERFECT THING? PLEASE DON'T EXPAND THE NCAA TOURNAMENT
Would you want a plastic surgeon's knife mutilating Angelina Jolie's lips, Scarlett Johansson's chest, or Natalie Portman's eyes? Would you want Tom Brady to change his throwing mechanics, maybe go back in time and tell Ted Williams to try hitting right-handed?
The NCAA Tournament is as close to perfection as any sports contest can be. It's 65 teams, playing all over the country, non-stop, for a few weekends in March. EVERYONE in the country obediently watches. It's thrilling, compelling. You cannot NOT watch it.
Yet, the NCAA wants to ruin its own perfect baby. Why is it that they want to expand the field of the already massive basketball tournament (65 of the 347 teams in Division-I or 18.7% of all teams make the tournament), yet keep the college football championship field to 2 teams (2 of 120, or 1.7%)?
Adding 3 more play-in games wouldn't be a bad idea. The 16th seed teams are really awful, and this could raise the average quality of the field. But let's keep the changes small and gradual. Baby steps.
Who complains about the NCAA tourney? Who is out there screaming "We need more teams!" "96 or bust!" Why is it that millions bitch about the BCS and nothing happens. Then nobody says a bad thing about the basketball tournament, and the NCAA wants to tinker and toy with it.
And isn't the money enough for the NCAA and all the conferences? CBS pays $545 million to broadcast these games. Every year. Is that not enough this day and age?
And who's going to watch these extra games? An expanded field of 96 would dump most of the small conference champions together, eliminating half of them before the REAL tournament started. It would essentially create a boring, pre-tournament, that nobody really watched. Nobody wants to see IUPUI play Weber State. They want to see IUPUI challenge Georgetown. David vs. Goliath was interesting because Goliath was there.
I love the NCAA tournament. 80% of the college basketball that I watch in a season is in March.
Don't fuck with it.