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ncaa tournament

The NCAA Tournament Is Perfect, Let’s Fix It

As infuriating as college football's Bowl Championship Series is, at least we have the constructionist perfection of the NCAA Tournament. Sixty-five teams, 64 games, the gorgeous, flawless bracket. Definitive. Thrilling. The best tournament and perhaps the best spectacle in all of sports. It's the highlight of every sports year, and nothing could ... wait ... what? They're changing the NCAA Tournament? Wha—?

They've been talking about it for a while, but the chorus is growing louder: The NCAA wants to expand the NCAA Tournament to 96 teams. Sports Business Journal says it's, of course, about money; they think a larger tournament — 32 teams would get a first-round bye — would bring in more revenue. It might in the short term. In the long term, though, that golden goose would be dead.

Sporting News veteran college-basketball writer Mike Decourcy knows what he's talking about.

Taken to its logical conclusion, [Notre Dame coach Mike] Brey's argument that more kids should get an opportunity to compete in the NCAA Tournament would tear down the walls between intercollegiate athletics and intramurals. Why should Luke Harangody get the experience of playing college basketball and Mike DeCourcy does not? Because Harangody is better at it? Absolutely.

Then no one should have a problem that 65 teams are included in the NCAA Tournament every year and the next 32 end up in the NIT.

Also, the bracket would be impossible for everyone in your office to fill out. It would be terrible, terrible, terrible. But you watch: They're gonna try it. Never underestimate the NCAA's capacity to make the wrong decision, every time.