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Your new NCAA March Madness - hopefully with USF there


Brad

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NCAA announces format for tournament's first-round games

The NCAA is getting creative with its expanded, 68-team Division I men's basketball tournament bracket.

Marquee and non-marquee teams, alike, will play in a new opening round of games drawn up by the committee that oversees college athletics' signature event. The NCAA unveiled the much-anticipated format Monday.

Starting next March, the last four teams landing at-large invitations to the tournament — some or all almost certain to come from such big-name conferences at the Atlantic Coast, Big East and Big Ten — will meet two or three days after Selection Sunday for a place in the lower middle of the bracket, most likely as No. 11 or 12 seeds.

The four lowest-seeded teams, invariably the champions of lower-profile, lower-rated conferences, also will meet, playing into No. 16 seeds.

Rest of report

Interesting to have play ins for middle lower seeds and 16 seeds...  As a purist, I think it's starting to get gummed up. 

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Interesting to have play ins for middle lower seeds and 16 seeds...  As a purist, I think it's starting to get gummed up. 

Agree...greed is corrupting a system that didn't need fixing.

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Brad, have you ever had the time to see who won the basketball pick 'em from last season?

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I am working on that as this very moment, among other things.

I am going to publish the full 2009-2010 contest results.

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Excellent. Thanks.

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Interesting to have play ins for middle lower seeds and 16 seeds...  As a purist, I think it's starting to get gummed up. 

Agree...greed is corrupting a system that didn't need fixing.

I agree that it doesn't need fixing, but I don't have a problem with this particular format. There are equally compelling arguments for forcing either the lower-seeded conference champions and the lowest-seeded at-large teams play the play-in games, so I think it's OK. The problem is, like conference expansion in football, I don't think it's going to stop here. In a few years, I expect to hear rumors that the NCAA is considering expanding again, and that's problematic in my opinion.

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Nobody watches these play-in games anyway...by having them, they are just admitting that the selection system is flawed. They should just put a lid on the whole selection process...let people guess and second-guess all they want. In the end, I think that would create more buzz than a couple games on Wednesday.

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Nobody watches these play-in games anyway

Well before now, these games were between the two worst teams in the bracket. Now it will also involve the bottom at large teams: 10, 11, 12 seeds. That should boost viewership at least a little bit, if only because the power conference teams that will be playing will have more fans than the 16 seed schools.

by having them, they are just admitting that the selection system is flawed.

No, "they" aren't. The admission is that more money could be made, and nothing else. I really have no idea what you're basing this statement on.

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First step to a 96 team field.

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