Sports Illustrated: 96 Teams “Increasingly Likely”

Stewart Mandel of SPORTS ILLUSTRATED has an extensive update on the prospect of the NCAA basketball tournament expanding to 96 teams. A month ago I reported that the expansion of the tournament will happen, and Mandel’s lengthy examination of the subject doesn’t suggest otherwise.

NCAA Tournament going to 96 teams

(As Bob Knight would say: ‘Relax and enjoy it’)

As I also reported last month, the ultimate decision on the status of the tournament field will be made by the NCAA Board of Directors. Mandel notes in his piece today that, “the Board of Directors is fully expecting to hold an expansion discussion at its next scheduled meeting on April 29 in Indianapolis.

NCAA Board Of Directors

(These women to help decide NCAA Tourney fate)

The deadline for a decision is July 31, so I would expect that May could be an eventful month to that end. Along with that news, Mandel has plenty of interesting, previously unreported tidbits.

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Meet The 18 People Who Wrecked March Madness

Coaches, athletic directors and conference commissioners came out today and criticized the NCAA’s intention to take the NCAA Tourney to 96 teams.

NCAA Board Of Directors

(More say on 96 than all college coaches, ADs, conf. commishes combined)

So what effect will today’s high profile outcry have? None.

Thanks to the go-ahead from 18 people, and four major television networks, negotiations for broadcast rights to a 96-team tournament have already started.

So who are the people at the center of the decision to junk the 64-team format?

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