Wednesday, March 18, 2009

Change the format: Put bubble (at-large teams) in the Opening Round

It seems that every single rule change made is made for the benefit of the BCS schools. Just because the Mountain West decided to spin off, it shouldn't mean that two automatic qualifiers should be forced to risk not playing in the actual tournament, and instead sit at the kiddies table in Dayton, Ohio.

So here are some suggestions on how to deal with this situation:

* Instead of two Automatic Qualifiers, have the last two "at-large" teams meet in the opening round game in Dayton on Tuesday

* Expand the opening round by having four or eight teams square off for the last two or four spots. Again, put at-large contenders, not automatic qualifiers here.

* For more a intellectual solution, a modification of the option above, square off the last four at-large teams with the top four regular-season conference champions which did not get an automatic or at-large bid. This would give the opportunity for a team like Davidson to play its way in. For example, a South Carolina vs Davidson game like it was in the NIT last night would have put Davidson in a field of 64 teams playing in the "real tournament".

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