Monday, March 12, 2007

March Madness: How to Fix the System

One of my 10 (up from the prior # of 9) readers brought up the idea of this ridiculous "play-in game," and why are legitimate tournament qualifiers playing against each other rather than at-large bids. It got me thinking.

Here's how you fix the idea of teams getting "snubbed" year in and year out.

For the most part, you're talking about 4-5 teams that have legitimate gripes. This year, I'll give you Florida State, Syracuse, West Virginia, K-State, and Drexel. Last year you had Maryland, Notre Dame, Indiana, and Miami of Ohio. Don't give me the crap that Appalachian State got hosed this year. That's crap.

Anyway, why only have one play-in game? And why have it be the winner gets a 16 seed and becomes fodder for the #1 team?

Who would be opposed to this:

Florida State vs. Texas Tech - winner is the 10 seed to play Boston College

Syracuse vs. Old Dominion - winner is the 12 seed to play Butler.

West Virginia vs. Arkansas - winner is the 12 to play USC.

You get my point.

Why not take the bottom 8 teams, and have 4 play-in games. Or the bottom 7 and have 3 play-in games.

Go to Dayton on Tuesday, and make them worth something. 4 games on the first Tuesday just like normal NCAA sites on Thursday and Friday.

Obviously its not going to happen - its just makes too much friggin sense.


Anonymous said...

Then where do the play in games stop? You're either in the tournament or out. I don't like this idea.

Josh said...

Play-in games are a decent idea, but here's a better one: Create two different brackets, with the upper division waiting for the 8 winners of the lower division. This would please everybody, because first you pick the best 54 teams in the upper bracket -- the best teams are assured a spot, no automatic bids getting in the way. Then in the "under bracket" you can have 64 teams compete for a couple weeks for a final 8 spots (it would go fast, you only need to play 3 rounds to get to 8 teams). Those 8 winners get promoted to the upper bracket. To make it interesting and fair to the lesser conferences, you can give conference tournament winners who didn't make the first bracket an automatic bid to the 2nd bracket. That way, your Austin Peay's, American U., Belmont's et cetera still have a shot. This makes total sense and we could avoid these yearly "who got snubbed" conversations. You would have 116 teams with a shot at the championship... a third of all the teams in Division I. Who could bitch about unfairness then? If you're not good enough for the upper bracket, prove it with some wins.