FanPost

What would a 96 team bracket look like? (A possibility... that I don't like)



ESPN.com says that the NCAA is proposing a bracket that would include 32 more teams and would incorporate a bye for the top 32 teams.  Furthermore, they have stated that it would be played in the same timeframe as the current 65 team tourney.  I have yet to find an article that explains it further, but from what I've seen the tournament would commence as usual and then play Tuesday - Sunday in the second week.  (Which is bizarre to me.) 

My question is... how would the seeding work from there?  I looked at a standard 16 team region and went from there.  Hopefully I can get this to sort itself in a rational way, but I looked at the 1-8 seeds getting a bye and then set up the next 16 teams with a 9 playing 24; 10 playing 23; etc.

 
            1

9

24

            8

16

17

            6

14

19

            4

12

22

            3

11

21

            5

13

20

            7

15

18

            2

10

23

 

I would presume that the current 16th seeds would likely end up as the 24th seeds under this format.  (i.e. East Tennessee State et al would end up with lower seeds than the UConns, UNC's, and Arizona's that would have made the tourney this year under a 96 team field.)  So essentially, a top seed like Kansas would have played a team like Northern Iowa (if a nine seed) in their very first game instead of the second round.  Additionally, look at the Big East tournament this year with their dreaded "double bye" system.  3 of the 4 teams with byes ended up losing their opening game.  Many people think that a bye is actually a disadvantage because of the "momentum" that the other team gets playing that opening game.  I'm not old enough to remember it, but #1 DePaul famously lost their first tournament game after recieving a bye.

There are plenty of reasons for the NCAA to expand the tournament, unfortunately none of them have to do with basketball.

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