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NCAA shuts down idea of expanded tournament

The ACC coaches wanted to see every D-1 program in the tournament.

COLLEGE BASKETBALL: MAR 10 Horizon League Tournament - Northern Kentuck vs UIC

Will the 2021 NCAA Tournament really feature more than 350 programs with all D-1 teams’ invited?

Not so fast, says the NCAA.

Just a day after the ACC coaches proposed an NCAA Tournament with every NCAA D-1 Basketball team invited to the Tournament, NCAA senior vice president of basketball Dan Gavit shut down the idea.

Thursday, Gavit said in a statement the NCAA is a “contingency plan” to expand the 2021 NCAA Tournament.

“Every college basketball team’s goal is to play in the NCAA tournament because everyone loves March Madness,” Gavitt said in a statement. “Certainly we missed it this year and can’t wait for 2021. While all who care about the game are entitled to their opinion, and we’ll always listen respectfully, at this time we are not working on any contingency plan that involves expanding the tournament field.”

The ACC plan is being led by long-time Duke Blue Devils head coach Mike Krzyzewski.

“Given the uncertainty of this upcoming season, I join my fellow ACC coaches in fully supporting the inclusion of all eligible Division I teams to participate in the 2021 NCAA tournament,” Krzyzewski said. “This is not a regular season. It is clearly an irregular season that will require something different. Our sport needs to be agile and creative. Most importantly, an all-inclusive postseason tournament will allow a unique and unprecedented opportunity for every team and every student-athlete to compete for a national championship.”

While the idea may look fun, it doesn’t make much sense when COVID-19 protocols call for limited contacts and an expanded tournament would do the exact opposite.