Here’s a development I did not see coming: the ACC’s men’s basketball coaches are united in pushing for the 2021 NCAA tournament to include literally every single eligible D-I program—something like 346 teams.
This idea is being led by Coach K, who was one of several league coaches to release a statement on Wednesday explaining why the move to massively expand the tournament field is a good idea. Kevin Keatts offered his own show of solidarity:
This whole thing feels totally out of left field, but apparently a majority of the ACC’s coaches would prefer to skip the non-conference portion of the schedule and jump right into league play in January. As a basketball fan, I’d like to see at least some non-conference games, but I also understand the trepidation here.
And I do very much love the idea of a tournament with over 300 teams in it, because that would be wild as hell and as far as I’m concerned, you cannot make a single-elimination tournament that is too big.
Is such an event actually, y’know, feasible? Well, no, almost certainly not. It’s irresponsible, to put it mildly, to ask that many players and coaches to travel for a tournament, no matter how its structured, no matter how many bubbles are involved—and I’m assuming we’ll see some coronavirus setbacks among teams, just like we have with football, which could turn things haywire. Drawing out the tournament several additional weeks—a month?—is not wise.
But I admire the dream. The spirit of doing something crazy as a one-off is a spirit I can get behind.