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Home - The Possibility of Tournament Expansion




  The Possibility of Tournament Expansion



ncaa basketballRecently serious discussion has begun about whether to expand the NCAA Tournament from 65 teams to 96. This would add another round of games and give first round byes to the top 32 ranked teams by the selection committee. On the face of it, it may seem like just a money move and a 96 team National Championship does sound a bit ridiculous. However, when compared to other major U.S. sports the size of the postseason compares favorably:




# of teams in the postseason
# of teams in the league
% of teams making the postseason
NFL
12
32
37.5%
NBA
16
30
53.3%
NHL
16
30
53.3%
MLB
8
30
26.7%
NCAA Men's Basketball
65
347
18.7%
NCAA Football
64
120
53.3%

Amongst the top 6 leagues in the United States, NCAA Men’s Basketball actually has the lowest percentage of teams making the playoffs currently and the difference in some cases is fairly large.

The coaches are some of the major supporters of expansion. It is believed that by expanding the tournament it would enhance the resumes of coaches and thus increase their job security. The 64 team setup has thrived for the past 20 years, however, it seems inevitable that fans would adapt to and love a 96 game format.



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