It’s getting to the point where pundits and bloggers aren’t even bothering to try to make sense about the consequences of an extended tourney. Here’s my man Joe at Coaches Hot Seat Blog:
Please, if you are going to celebrate the bowl system and the BCS we sure the Hell don’t want to hear any of you coaches telling your players that excellence and performance on the field is what counts, because then you would be a massive hypocrite. Calling something that is real that isn’t real doesn’t make it right and when you are rewarded for mediocrity, with college football being the only sport that rewards such mediocrity in our country, is not right and the coaches know it is not right.
Now I follow a school that saw its basketball coach get a reprieve from his fate with a flukish SEC Tournament win that led to a berth in the NCAA tourney, only to get canned in the middle of the following season when that little stretch was revealed to be nothing more than a mirage, so Joe’s “only sport” reference falls on deaf ears here, but, really, how hard is it to notice that teams with losing records make appearances in the NCAA basketball postseason – which is for a national title, mind you – far more often than they do in college bowl games?
As a topper, there’s the unintentional comedy of Joe’s last comment on the subject.
… Yes, expanding the NCAA Tournament to 96 teams would raise more money but if more money is all that the NCAA is about then they might as well shut their doors and close the whole Damn operation down.
Meanwhile, here’s a brilliant observation from SI.com’s Michael Rosenberg (h/t Braves and Birds). Extolling the awesomeness that is March Madness, Rosenberg writes, “The NCAA tournament is never overhyped because from November to March, most of the country doesn’t pay attention to college basketball.”
By that logic, what would make the tourney the perfect sporting event would be to dispense with the regular season entirely. And best of all, nobody would miss it.