April 2, 2010 at 4:26 pm #1996
Initially not in favor of 96 NCAA tourn. Think it will marginalize conference tourneys. BUT, just think if this past yr was 96 we would not have faced #1 seed but #33, perhaps same result but we may have had a real chance to advance. Also, now for us just getting in is a big win, at 96 the March madness will not be there.April 2, 2010 at 5:32 pm #1997
I have long been in favor of a 68 team NCAA field with four "Play-in" games – one in each region. Going to 96 seems a bit over the top considering the recent launch of two new tournaments – the College Basketball Invitational (16 team) in 2009 and the Collegeinsider.com (16 team) in 2010. To them, you can add the 32 member NIT. All together, post-season invitations await 129 D-I teams or 37% of the nation’s programs. Perhaps all that’s needed is to promote the lesser named programs and/or integrate the bunch.
NIT 32 (Dayton 2010 Champ)
CBI 16 (VCU 2010 Champ)
CI 16 (Missouri State 2019 Champ)April 2, 2010 at 6:43 pm #1998
For PL fans, what’s not to love about a 96 team tourney? With a good enough regular-season schedule there’s a (long) shot at multiple PL bids in the tournament, and a better shot at first round wins.
With a 65 team tournament, there’s almost a zero shot at multiple bids, and unless it’s a unique situation Lehigh will most likely be put against a No. 1 to a No. 3 seed.
It will take some getting used to, but a 96 team tourney will give more teams more of a shot at more money. That would help the Patriot League.April 2, 2010 at 10:45 pm #2000
Chuck, it would be nice to think the PL and other mid and low major conferences would soak up many of the additional 31 slots 31 (96-65), but let’s be honest with ourselves, it just won’t happen. For example, take a look at year-end Sagarin Rankings, 46 teams in the Top 96 did not make the NCAA’s this year. Were the 96 rule in place this year, you could bet those added bids would have gone to schools the likes of MS St., VA. Tech., Dayton, Memphis, Illinois, UConn, and North Carolina. The best PL finish was Lehigh at #204. I’m sure a study of the RPI rankings would yield similar results. Sad, but true.April 3, 2010 at 1:57 pm #2001
I agree, the 31 extra teams that will make the tournament will, for the most part, be schools from the big conferences.April 3, 2010 at 5:06 pm #2002
On the plus side, I think it would mean that the PL champion would have an easier first game, since I believe that the top 32 teams are supposed to get a bye. Might be a bit easier to make some noise in the tournament.April 7, 2010 at 7:52 pm #2015
http://lehighfootballnation.blogspot.co … acket.html
I don’t think a 96 team bracket is the end of the world. I think it helps the PL champion more than it hurts it.April 15, 2010 at 1:46 pm #2026
It seems like Joe Lunardi, ESPN’s Resident Bracketologist, is in agreement with me noting that the proposed 96 team structure does nothing to improve the Patriot League’s chances of landing more than one team into the Big Dance. Here’s his view of how the 96 teams would shake out next year should expansion occur. Yes, I know it’s premature to say the least, but a fun read nonetheless.
Lehigh (and I assume any other PL champion) would go as the league’s lone representative and face UTEP in a 24 vs. 9 game. The winner would get Marquette, an 8 seed, who sat-out Round One play.
The Big East and ACC place a combined 25 teams into the tournament.
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