NCAA considering tournament expansion

The NCAA has received a proposal suggesting the big tournament be expanded from 68 to 72 teams.

The Atlantic Coast Conference is going to present legislation to the NCAA that will attempt to add four additional teams to the tournament next year. This according to Commissioner, John Swofford after the league's Spring meeting.

The proposal was endorsed by the men's basketball coaches. They believe an expansion to the NCAA tournament would mean more postseason opportunities for universities across the country.

One of the main issues that they are trying to address is the geographical problem that currently exists. The example used was west coast teams having to travel all the way to Dayton, Ohio. More teams and a new distribution of areas in the nation could cut down on quick travel turnarounds.

Another issue is one that comes up every year: teams that probably should be in, but don't quite make it. They noted that 68 of 351 Division-I teams make it. 72 would bring that figure up to 20%, still much lower than say, football bowl games.

Will this happen?

It is difficult to say. The ACC's proposal makes some valid arguments for the expansion. A growing field would also mean more opportunity for mid-majors to make it in.

On the other hand, 68 is already a lot. The NIT and others already serve to provide post-season play for many teams. Comparing the tournament to football bowl games is a tough argument too, because at the end of the day, the bowl is only one game.

Geographical restructuring makes a lot of sense. The expansion of the tournament is an interesting concept, but maybe not one the NCAA will put in place next season.

Other topics Swofford mentioned from their discussions is and expansion of three-point line distance, lane-widening, and shot clock tweaks.

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