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Should the NCAA tournament expand to 96?

Post columnist Tracee Hamilton weighs in with her thoughts on expanding the NCAA tournament field to 96 teams. Here's a preview: She truly, utterly loathes the idea.

What do you think? Should the NCAA tournament field be expanded to 96 teams?

By Matt Bonesteel  |  January 21, 2010; 1:10 PM ET
Categories:  Men's basketball  
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If it aint broke dont fix it. The Ncaa Tournament is hard enough to win, there is no need to let teams that dont deserve to play to get in.

Posted by: mrouillard02 | January 21, 2010 1:14 PM | Report abuse

Expansion would mean the regular season games are not so important. Would cut down on fan interest (and season ticket sales).

Posted by: EdDC | January 21, 2010 1:38 PM | Report abuse

Shrink it to 64. Yeah I said it.

Posted by: BrokenClipboard | January 21, 2010 1:58 PM | Report abuse

If they expand, mostly every coach at a major program will be able to say their team went to the tournament. This is an exclusive thing.

Currently, 18% of the Division I teams go which is about 1 in 5 and that is plenty.

Think of the NBA and NHL where over half the league gets into the playoffs and if someone gets hot or lucky, the true teams might not prevail and it's strung out.

When would they be able to play this game?

Too many questions and logisitics to figure out to have people follow there team for 3 weeks or even 4 if they make it to the end.

Posted by: DiehardTerp | January 21, 2010 2:34 PM | Report abuse

Poopy -

You lived in Wicomico? Back when I was in school, that was an honors dorm - you had to have serious grades to get the location and many of the rooms were singles. They instituted the actual "Honors Program" when I was a freshmen which played a huge part in why I went to MD (and the free-ride back when a semester's tuition was <$700.00). But prior to that, it was reserved for kids with really high HS grades + SATs and I believe a fairly high minimum GPA had to be maintained to live there.

Poopy_ - come clean. Were you a "smart kid?" Come cleaner....did you get out in 4 yrs.????

Regards -


Posted by: HughGRection | January 21, 2010 10:24 AM

Hugh, when I was in Wicomico (late 90's) I don't think it was an honors dorm. To come clean, I did have a pretty high GPA and SAT in high school and consider myself to be "a smart kid" but I definitely didn't get out in 4 years. Goofed off a bunch, switched majors a bunch, etc. (Yeah I can hear Barno and some others on here attributing that to my "shroom" post)

Wicomico was a smoking dorm (I know that much) and we all were pretty rowdy when we were there but I don't ever recall it ever being labeled a Honors Dorm when I was there.

As for this thread, I voted no. I'd prefer it to stay the same, instead of increasing the # of teams, which would increase our chances of getting in every year (which would definitely make some people happy).

Posted by: Poopy_McPoop | January 21, 2010 2:35 PM | Report abuse

Expanding the field will RUIN the tournament and, as Diehard Terp points out, give every coach (read GW) another excuse.

It will ruin the regular season and the conference tournaments and it will also ruin the amazing pools that are such a part of March Madness.

I have been running a pool (very low money) for about 80 friends and family for 10 years. The first round bye and the (effectively) 32 play-in games will make seedings and picks horrible.

This may be almost as bad as the current health care legislation. Tea baggers and Koolaid drinkers will need to rise up!

Posted by: petecard | January 21, 2010 3:40 PM | Report abuse

The definitely shouldn't increase it to 96, but I wouldn't be opposed to increasing it by 4-6 more teams if they could figure out a logical way to do that. Maybe have a couple more "play-in" games. 96 is way too many though.

Posted by: Barno1 | January 21, 2010 4:10 PM | Report abuse

Tea baggers and Koolaid drinkers will need to rise up!

Posted by: petecard | January 21, 2010 3:40 PM

This made me laugh for the numerous degrees of its comical-ness.

Who knows, maybe Fox News will show a clip of a bunch of people gathered for 1 reason and turn around say it's a ton of protesters for more NCAA teams in the tournament.

Posted by: Poopy_McPoop | January 21, 2010 4:16 PM | Report abuse


Note that the admission reqs were much higher when you attended then when I did. They pretty much let anyone in and made it difficult to graduate. I managed to get out in 4 with only one major switch and a few summer sessions.

No expansion and eliminate the play-in game. Then again, w/o the play-in game, MD might not have made it last year...keep the play-in game!

Did anyone else notice the number of ACC schools in the best value for the dollar listing: UNC #1,UVA #3, MD#8 and NC St #10? Back in my day it was cash and go for in-state - not a lot of student debt for those who needed to take it. For out of state I knew a few who had work study and such, but they got out with less than $15k owed.

Regards -


Posted by: HughGRection | January 21, 2010 5:21 PM | Report abuse

I heard Gary is a prime advocate of this :-) lol I could see 4 play in games which would be 6 more teams.

Posted by: restonhoops | January 21, 2010 5:35 PM | Report abuse

go back to 64. it's unfair the kids from the tiny schools have to suffer through a play-in game anyway. they both should have the chance to be throttled by a 1 seed like they deserve.

poopy, it's cool with me you ate mushrooms. you only go to college once.

Posted by: jpfterps | January 22, 2010 1:06 PM | Report abuse

jpfterps, I don't think anyone knocked anyone for doing drugs on here. I think what people mocked was the fact that someone actually bragged about it on a posting board. That's about a lame as it gets.

Posted by: Barno1 | January 22, 2010 1:47 PM | Report abuse


actually to add 3 more play in games would be adding 3 more teams...

and that has been mentioned before as an alternative for expansion...

this would be a bad idea simply because of the problem with the existing play in cheats the loser out of playing in the first round of the tourny...thurs/fri...

expanding to 68 teams and 4 play in games under that logic means making the lowest seeds play in the play in games and means 4 teams who deserve to play in the first round get shafted...

im not a proponent of further expansion to 68 but not totally against it...if they were to do it i think the only fair way would be to make the "last 4 (at large) teams in" play (what is today) the "first 4 (atlarge) teams out". then its basically about the teams that everyone is complaining about getting in or not getting in and letting them settle it on the court.

i just dont think its fair to make the little schools that won their conf tourny play in the play in games. doesnt matter that they are cinderellas that dont really stand a chance...or as other people argue, shouldnt be there anyway...thats bs, they flat out earned it. conference tournament winners have always been invited to the party and they always should be with a guarantee to play in the first round.

they should make the teams with all the controversey play these play in games to prove they should be there as at large bids.

last 4 in play the first 4 out...very fair and settles all the controversey and doesnt cheat the little schools that earned their bids and tickets to the first round.

as for an expansion to 96 teams...that is the absolute worst idea i have ever heard and every argument against it i have ever seen is overwhelmingly valid...

i cant believe they are actually considering it and i cant believe that anyone would support it (coaches included) outside of those that stand to make money on it...

if coaches are supporting it b/c of their contracts that stipulate making the dance, then making the dance wouldnt mean anything anymore, the regular season wouldnt mean anthing, the conf tourny wouldnt mean anything and the dance would lose its credibility.

it would kill the NIT...

and its even more absurd than the new tournament they started doing now that pits the next 32 teams that didnt make the dance or the NIT...rediculous!!!!

Posted by: deadskin | January 22, 2010 6:50 PM | Report abuse

Listen - if you can't make it into the field of 64 then it is pretty dubious you can make much noise in the NCAA tourney. It might be prudent to lower it to 32 or 16.
I do like the current format as it is - because so many schools and fans get to feel good about themselves.

Posted by: rickywarner49 | January 24, 2010 12:46 AM | Report abuse

Careful kiddies what you write ! Bragging about smokin "(Yeah I can hear Barno and some others on here attributing that to my "shroom" post)" in the post above is downright stupid. Doesn't anyone hear how how these comments can be found out if you ever apply for any type of clearance.

The thought of an honors dorm at UMCP is an oxymoron. If you were so bright to begin with - you would not have attended there - but at a real academic institution.
Honors at Maryland is like winning a beauty contest for bald headed fat women.

Posted by: rickywarner49 | January 24, 2010 1:00 AM | Report abuse

Rickywarner, you're not really that stupid are you? Please tell me you fell into a coma in 1990 and just came out.

Posted by: Barno1 | January 24, 2010 1:53 PM | Report abuse

Welcome to 2010 Ricky, we are so glad you have awakened from your coma. Some things have changed in the last 20 years. A black man was elected president of the United States. The Berlin Wall came down. It took 2 wars with Iraq but we finally killed Saddam Hussein. Oh, and, Maryland is now a top notch university.

Times of London:

A ranking of the World's Top 200 Universities.
o The Times ranked UM No. 79 among world universities. Within these rankings, UM's place among U.S. schools:
+ No. 30 among all universities
+ No. 7 among flagship institutions
+ No. 11 among U.S. public universities

The Princeton Review and Entrepreneur Magazine's Top 50 Entrepreneurial Colleges Undergraduate and Graduate Programs

* UM is No. 14 among undergraduate programs and No. 18 among graduate programs.
* It is among only 12 schools to make the Top 25 in both classifications.

Fortune's Best Colleges for Entrepreneurs

Fortune Small Business Magazine ranks UM as one of the 'America's Best Colleges for Entrepreneurs.'
o MBA Rankings:
UM is one of (26) grad schools that 'blend real-world small-business know-how with top academics.'
o Undergrad Rankings:
At UM, 'even freshmen have visions of startups at these top spots (25 schools).

Wall Street Journal Best Business Schools

The Journal ranks the Smith School of Business No. 10 among the world's "Regional" schools. ("Regional" is a category of schools that traditionally attract business recruiters from their own region or nation.)
o Smith is ranked No. 8 among all the world's business schools in "Information Technology."

The Institute of Higher Education ranks the world's top universities, based on research.

* UM ranks No. 37 in the world, up from No. 57 three years ago
* UM ranks No. 8 among U.S. Flagship universities
* UM ranks No. 28 among U.S. schools

U.S. News & World Report

* The university is 18th in the ranking of national public universities.
* With the release of these rankings, Maryland has 29 programs overall in the magazine's Top 10 rankings (undergraduate and graduate), and 90 programs in Top 25 rankings.

# The Smith School of Business is ranked No. 21.

* Entrepreneurship specialty ranked 11th
* Management Information Services specialty ranked 7th
* Supply Chain Mgt/Logistics specialty ranked 7th
* Production/Operation Mgt. specialty ranked 16th>
* Finance specialty ranked 18th
* Management specialty ranked 18th
* Quantitative Analysis specialty ranked 12th
* Marketing specialty ranked 18th


Posted by: Barno1 | January 24, 2010 2:00 PM | Report abuse

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