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Change the structure of the NCAA basketball tournament format? Not so fast

Recently, there has been some talk from conference personnel that it is time to change the structure of the Big Dance.

I understand why the SEC and Big Ten would want the field to change. Texas and Oklahoma are coming to the SEC, while USC and UCLA will join the Big Ten. That will give those conferences even more viable candidates for the field.

Several thoughts have been floated on the internet. Expand to 96 teams, giving a few more little guys a chance, but also adding for those conferences that are expanding. Or, maybe, cut the field down and feature the power conferences.

I have my own opinion on the subject.

For three weeks, the college basketball world dominates the sports headlines. We have a great event with 68 teams. We have a few teams upset they were left out on Selection Sunday. We have major representation from the power conferences. We have Cinderella stories pulling Shock City.

I love the tournament the way it is. Family members who don’t watch the sport all season suddenly are interested. Sure, they fill out the brackets to keep them interested.

What would the tournament be like if George Mason, Butler, VCU, Loyola-Chicago and others were not even invited? Those schools made the Final Four. If the seeding process changed, would a No. 8 seed like Villanova, a No. 7 like Connecticut or No. 6 seeds such as NC State and Kansas cut down the nets?

Championship Week, in its current state, creates great excitement leading up to Selection Sunday. Teams that win their conference tournament have earned the right to enjoy the glory.

I can’t wait for this season, returning to the sideline calling games. The sport is so special and the Big Dance is in a great position right now. It fairly gives the fans, the players, the coaches and the media a great way to enjoy the competition. It also makes good money for the NCAA.

I hope we don’t see any changes for the immediate future. Enjoy the great thing we have now!


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