Little of interest came out of the ACC spring meetings this year, perhaps this included: the league’s basketball coaches would like to see the NCAA tournament to expand from 68 to 72 teams. Creating two “First Four”-type events, if you will. I will not.
I figure there are enough mediocre teams in the NCAA tournament as it is, and any argument for tournament expansion is disingenuous if it involves basketball reasons rather than financial ones. I’m sure that the ACC’s coaches would argue that, for one thing, man this league is huge! there’s so many teams and it’s so tough night after night.
What they really want is increased job security—an NCAA tournament berth is generally regarded as a success regardless of the context, and it often extends a coach’s shelf life. There’s millions of dollars at stake there. Expanding the field increases ever-so-modestly the at-large chances of a power-conference team, and a berth might mean a long-term extension or another couple years of good will, but in either case, millions of dollars.
Obviously, to anyone who has ever watched the First Four, expanding the NCAA tournament is a terrible idea. There’s no energy around the early-week event as it is, and you get subjected to things like UCLA and Syracuse basketball. No one wants more UCLA and Syracuse basketball. Maybe we could meld those two programs together and they would create a watchable team. But until we get there, I don’t want to hear about expansion.