MissTake controls Nebraska...

without Nick Weatherspoon. I’ve been skeptical of the Big 10. Nebraska won 13 games in conference. It was a matchup of Big 10 #5 (with a big dropoff to #6) versus SEC #9. The game was in Starkville, and Nebraska may have been bummed about not getting a bid, though not many gave them much of a shot to get one. It may not mean much, but it’s certainly not a bad sign for the SEC nor a good sign for the Big 10.

Meanwhile, two of the Pac 12’s three NCAAT teams didn’t get out of Dayton alive. Which suggests the committee was correct to stiff the P-12.

Also Texas Southern became the first team with a losing record to win a game in the Dance, and won it easily. Maybe UAPB could have done the same if it had beaten TSU Saturday.

Is the First Four actually part of the Dance? I thought it was a play-in game. Since both of us love soccer, I thought it was like a playoff game between a CONCACAF team and an Oceania team to qualify for the World Cup.

yep won 66-59

It is considered part of the Dance. For a couple of years they called it the first round and the games that started today were the second round, but that went away quickly. If your name got called during that alleged selection special Sunday night, you’re in the Dance. In the case of UCLA and Arizona State, just barely.

They should just expand the tournament another weekend with some byes so that every regular-season and tourney conference champ gets a bid. That would solve all the problems of deserving mid-majors being left out. Of course, there will always be a bubble no matter where you draw the line.

Of course that’s what they’ve done with the NIT; if you win your league but lose in the tournament of a one-bid league, you get an NIT bid. They seem to have made an exception for UAPB though. The Lions finished tied for second in the SWAC but the winner was postseason-ineligible (APR) and UAPB won the tiebreaker to be the top seed in the SWAC tournament. But I guess they don’t have an exception for finishing second when the league champ can’t play in the Dance, so no UAPB in the NIT.

I don’t know if a 128-team tournament would work or is desirable, but they could have 96. Instead of two games Tuesday and two Wednesday, play 16 Tuesday and 16 Wednesday to get down to 64, with 32 byes to Thursday-Friday. Subregional sites could bid for three rounds in five days instead of two rounds in three days. I don’t think they want to extend the tournament any later into April; you start running into MLB and the Masters.

That would also kill the NIT, but would anyone really truly miss it?

By the way, if they had my 96-team plan this year, we would have a bye and Butler would have played a 23 seed last night. So then you get into the argument that often happened when the NCAAT had regular byes; is it an advantage to have the fresh legs, or an advantage to get first-game tournament jitters out of the way. When U.S. Reed hit from half court to beat Louisville 37 years ago yesterday, we had played and won a close one Thursday night against Mercer; Louisville had the bye.

I’d rather do away with the play-in games than make it a 128 game tournament. No #16 has ever beaten a #1 seed. It’d be even worse if we had #32’s playing #1’s, etc.

I suppose we could have the first weekend where the last 64 play each other to then play the top 64, but that’d mean a weekend of byes for the top 64 teams. I don’t think I like Swine’s 96-team idea much better.

This probably sounds a bit old-fashioned, but I like the idea of the regular season meaning something. It barely means anything now. Everyone points to the tourney. The regular season is simply the means to that end. It’s all about playing for seeding. For the small conferences, it’s about trying to get their one spot into the dance where they hope to win one game. (At least that’s their somewhat realistic hope.) As much as I like “March Madness” it’s almost the only part of college basketball that matters. Heck, it loses a lot of its luster by the 2nd weekend. By then only 16 teams remain & with rare exceptions, the “Cinderellas” have been eliminated after their one win.

You’re actually proposing my 96-team plan, I think. If 64 teams play 32 games, then they need to play 32 other teams in the second round; that’s 96. If you want 64 teams to play twice to get down to 16, then you’d need 48 teams with a bye to get a 64-team field for the second weekend. So that would be a 112-team tournament.

I doubt they’d go to 96, 112 or 128 teams, but I could see 72 or even 80. Eight first-round games in the first case, 16 in the second. . You’d get rid of those 11-seed playins that took out UCLA and AZState, I think, although you could give all the 1 and 2 seeds the play-in winners that are sub-16 seeds and give the 5s and 6s the at-large play-ins.

Expanding the NCAA tournament would end the NIT. Most players could care less about the NIT so really it would not hurt.

If mid-majors are concerned about their regular season champions being left out because of conference tournament loss, then they should eliminate the conference tournament. They are their own worst enemy. They are not going to get two teams in NCAAT anyway, so why not let the best team in by eliminating their tournament.

I don’t feel sorry for the mid majors.

The tourneys are a major source of revenue in conferences that already are not overflowing in money. A lot of mid-major athletic departments are taking money out of the general student fund to finance sports.

As someone who is a rabid fan of a mid-major La Tech, I do know that they often get screwed. When White was there, they were almost unbeatable at home. Power conference teams were not going to play them in Ruston. In 2014 La Tech won 27 games and was in the top-40 in Pomeroy. They got left out, and a conference as big as CUSA with unbalanced schedules is not going to get rid of the conference tournament. That’s not an option competitively, even if it were financially.

Just increase the number of bids by 10 to 20, and it wouldn’t matter. There’s a reason that CUSA keeps advancing in the NCAAT. It usually has more than two tourney-quality teams, but the dross at the bottom of the league makes an at-large bid almost impossible because of SOS.