14 March 2006

More NCAA Lamentations

Feeding off of Laddi's NCAA lamentation post, I now bring you my own major perturbation with the way the field of 65 is drawn up.

The play-in game.

Why is it, that teams who win their conference tournament, are then potentially forced to 'play their way in' to the big dance every year? I mean, is it really fair to Monmouth and Hampton, teams who won their conference, to not get to actually participate in the opening weekend feeding frenzy? Is it fair to make these two sacrificial lambs to the 1-seed slaughter go out and kill each other two days before the big show starts, only to have to potentially travel several thousand miles 24 hours later to face the Duke's of the world? No. It's not. And frankly, it's yet another farce that the loving, caring, institution that is the NCAA is forcing down our collective gullet.

Here's my solution.

You want some excitement in this 'play-in' game nonsense? Put the 12 seeds on the line. All 4 of them. You've got at least 4 bubble teams every year that feel snubbed, let them play their way in. These are your 19-10, 20-10, major conference teams, that went around .500 in their conference. Have the two teams that would play on Thursday play their play-in matchups on Tuesday, the Friday teams play Wednesday. Want to prove to the world, Florida State, that the Duke win wasn't a fluke? Prove it against the Kent State's of the world on Tuesday. Let the Monmouth's and the Hampton's of the world enjoy their tournament experience that they so richly deserve for doing what they are supposed to do. Taking care of business when business is to be taken care of.

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