Tuesday, July 13, 2010

NCAA reveals the 68-team March Madness Tournament format

Well, at least it isn't 96.

The NCAA released the format of the new March Madness Tournament yesterday. The newly coined "First Four" will be playing the Tuesday or Wednesday after Selection Sunday, with the winners advancing to what will now be the "second round" on Thursday or Friday. The 3rd round will have 32 teams, and then the Sweet 16, Elite 8, Final 4 will all remain the same.

ESPN's Pat Forde put it best:

"In the NCAA’s ongoing effort to make the best of a bad decision, it unveiled a 68-team basketball tournament Monday that has some appeal. Unfortunately, the appeal wanes when you remember that there was no good reason to expand the field at all."

There is no need for random, mediocre teams and unnecessary games in the tournament. Sorry, no one cares if three extra at-large teams get to play and maybe make it to the second round. Why are we fixing what isn't broken?

If the First Four are now split into games on Tuesday and Wednesday, people won't be able to fill out their brackets at the earliest until Wednesday night, which games starting at noon on Thursday. How many people aren't going to fill out brackets now because they won't have time or they will simply forget? I have a hard time getting my friends to fill them out when they have five days to do it, much less under 24 hours.

I'm annoyed, but I'm over it. It could have been way worse. It could have been 96. It could have ruined The Dance completely as we know it. I'll settle for 68... for now.

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