Posts Tagged ‘the answers to all those questions are “not much’

If the Tournament had been 96 teams…

With a full five days between the last Regional Final and the National Semifinals, I did what any decent college basketball fan with too much spare time would do: I crafted a new bracket showing what this year’s Tournament would have looked like had it contained 96 teams. I used the approach most people are pushing for expansion, which is to include all regular-season champions of every conference in addition to postseason tournament champions.* I basically took seeding from the NIT for the added teams although I had to decide where to fit in teams that won their conference titles but would have earned an at-large NIT berth if necessary (namely Siena, Cornell, Murray State).

*Of course, using this method retroactively on this season avoids the huge, “How hard does a regular-season champion try in a postseason conference tournament if it already has its ticket punched?” question. This, to me, is one of the biggest issues with expansion: Do teams that won the regular season in a conference such as the SWAC, which has virtually no hope of an at-large berth, even compete in the conference tournament? What do they have to gain? And isn’t it better for the conference if they lose in the tournament and a second team earns a bid? And does this force the Ivy to have a conference tournament?

MIDWEST EAST SOUTH WEST
1 Kansas Kentucky Duke Syracuse
2 Ohio State West Virginia Villanova Kansas State
3 Georgetown New Mexico Baylor Pittsburgh
4 Maryland Wisconsin Purdue Vanderbilt
5 Michigan State Temple Texas A&M Butler
6 Tennessee Marquette Notre Dame Xavier
7 Oklahoma State Clemson Richmond BYU
8 UNLV Texas California Gonzaga
9 Northern Iowa Wake Forest Louisville Florida State
10 Georgia Tech Missouri Saint Mary’s Florida
11 San Diego State Washington Old Dominion Minnesota
12 Mississippi State Virginia Tech Utah State UTEP
13 Arizona State Mississippi Cornell Illinois
14 Dayton Siena Rhode Island UAB
15 Cincinnati Murray State Memphis New Mexico State
16 Connecticut Kent State South Florida Wichita State
17 North Carolina Seton Hall William & Mary Northeastern
18 NC State Nevada Texas Tech Tulsa
19 Illinois State Saint John’s Houston Wofford
20 Ohio Weber State Sam Houston State Oakland
21 Montana Coastal Carolina Troy Morgan State
22 Lehigh Lipscomb* Jackson State UC-Santa Barbara
23 Quinnipiac Stony Brook Robert Morris North Texas
24 Arkansas-Pine Bluff Winthrop East Tennessee State Vermont

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