March Madness Expansion Controversy

According to this USA Today article, the NCAA is considering an expansion of the tournament to 96 teams. The proposed schedule would:

  • Have 64 teams play on the Thursday and Friday of the first round, giving the other 32 a bye, or automatic win, into the second round.
  • The winners of the first round would play the bye teams on that Saturday and Sunday of the first weekend.
  • The 32 teams left after the first weekend would play the following Tuesday and Thursday, and the schedule would continue like the old style after that.

Although many coaches are in favor of the expansion, like the University of Florida’s Billy Donovan in this Sports Illustrated article, some fans are unhappy with the proposed changes.

"There's no shortage of reasons to be opposed to it. Expansion takes the 'student'-athletes out of class more than they already are, adds teams that have no business being in the Tournament and ruins the most competitive, exciting postseason in sports."

---Adam Berry, sportswriter for the Independent Florida Alligator

"I don't like the tournament being expanded to 96 teams. I think the regular season is watered down enough and the 96-team tournament renders the regular season even more meaningless. But everyone knows it is being done for the money ... so the NCAA can offer more inventory to networks when it's time to negotiate a new TV deal for the NCAA Tournament."

---Mike Bianchi, sportswriter for the Orlando Sentinel

You can view a sample proposed bracket at CBSsports.com.

© 2010 Jillian Kremer