Monday, February 27, 2012

UNC AD wants 128-team NCAA tournament

New UNC athletics director Bubba Cunningham is among those in favor of a 128-team NCAA Tournament for basketball.

During a recent interview, Cunningham said he has “generally been a proponent” of a 128-team field for several years.

“I think the first 64 games should be played at on-campus sites, but I think it could come about eventually,” Cunningham said.

“When you have 348 teams trying to get what is now 68 places in the tournament, the odds are pretty long for a lot of teams. There are teams that don’t have a great deal of hope.”

Roughly 19.5 percent of the Division I teams wind up with NCAA bids.

By comparison, 16 of 30 teams in the NHL and NBA qualify for the playoffs. That’s 53 percent. In Major League Baseball, eight of 30 teams (26 percent) reach the playoffs. In the NFL, 12 of 32 teams (37.5 percent) qualify. And in college football, more teams wind up playing in bowl games than don’t.

So if you go by the comparative landscape, the 128 idea is more in line with the equity standards. If 128 teams started the tournament, the participating percentage would increase from 19.5 to roughly 37 percent. But each year, more and more teams make the jump from NCAA Division II to Division I.

Among the first coaches to suggest a 128 field was UCLA’s John Wooden in the 1960s. Wooden’s basketball roots were in Indiana, which had an open postseason prep tournament that included each high school in the state in a completely open event.

Until 1985, when the field was expanded from 48 to 64 teams, an NCAA bid was ridiculously difficult to land mathematically.

From 1953 through 1974, the field was limited to 22 qualifiers at a time when about 225 teams were eligible. That’s 9.7 percent.

During most of those years, MLB had 16 teams and only the National and American League champs played on after the final regular season games. That still comes out 12.5 percent.

The popular theory is that an expansion to 128 teams would wipe out postseason conference tournaments. Cunningham doesn’t entirely agree.

“There are lot of models that would have to be considered,” he said.

One possibility would be to eliminate one of two regular-season games from the early schedule, then start conference regular-season schedules earlier.

Coaches generally have favored a 128 field for years. A survey by the NCAA in 2005 showed that roughly 65 percent of coaches backed the idea.

So far, however, there’s not been significant support for the 128 format by college presidents and -- more importantly -- the television networks.

But if the networks suddenly decided that it would be good business, odds are the 128 field would come about much faster than it took to go from 32 teams in 1978 to 64 teams in 1985.

-- Caulton Tudor

27 comments:

Anonymous said...

Absolutely moronic idea. The new guy needs to shut up and focus on the mess at Chapel Hill.

Anonymous said...

The cheaters up there Chapel Hill have a real genius on their hands. Next idea: Let's see if we can get Wal-Mart as our official sponsor. That's where most of our fans shop anyways.

Anonymous said...

After making the NIT for 2 seasons with Roy Williams at the helm, I can imagine he would want the field expanded.

Anonymous said...

This guy needs to keep quiet! UNC needs to focus on winning another championship this year. Holla!

Anonymous said...

@ Anon 12:10pm- Roy Williams led Tar Heels have only made the NIT one time. His Tar Heel teams have won the National Championship 2 times though.

Rboggs81 said...

Dumbest comment ever. The college basketball season is already diminished because of the expanded 68 team tourney, why ruin it even more? Moron.

Anonymous said...

128 is way too many. That would make the regular season MEANINGLESS! One reason college football is bogus is because far too many teams make bowl appearances every year. If a team has a losing record, they DO NOT DESERVE to go play in a bowl game, period. Stick with the 68 team format for basketball. It's a manageable amount of games and is a good balance without detracting from the regular season. The NCAAs (AND bowl games) should be about the best teams, NOT about the "everybody-gets-rewarded", namby-pamby, don't-hurt-the-players-feelings" drivel that is coming from Bubba Cunningham. Looks like UNC made yet another mistake with this hire.

Anonymous said...

I'm a ABC fan and a tarheel hater, but it makes sense and it will eventually happen. The one thing we people hate is "change" if you look at it statiscally with all other sports it makes sense. It wasn't any worse last year when 4 teams were added. Relax people.

Anonymous said...

He may want that many teams in the tournament, but he should be more real in his reasoning. Fact is that NCAA basketball is as fair as you can get -- EVERY team in D1 has a direct line to the NCAA tournament. Win your conference - however you determine the champion - and you are in. Not ifs ands or buts.

Quite simple fact is every school (short of the Ivy League who gives their automatic bid to their regular season winner) plays their conference tournament as a satellite NCAA tournament. Win and you keep going.

Anonymous said...

New guy want to ensure that his Heels don't have to play in the NIT again!

dooksux said...

Heels win the 2012 NCAA Championship! Bet on it!!

Anonymous said...

Terrible idea. His perspective will change after a few years at UNC but this is an opinion he obviously developed as a small school AD (Ball State and Tulsa).

Anonymous said...

Maybe NC State will have a chance to go dancing now.

Anonymous said...

Maybe Moo could make the NCAA field then.....Maybe

Anonymous said...

It's all about money. That is why the NHL, NBA etc have such a high percentage of teams in the playoffs. It is why we do not have a college football playoff system (the bowl structure provides more money).

Let's reduce college sports down to 1950s size and send the non students that are on campus playing sports to a farm league.

1993 Tar Heel said...

In other news - nc state and yow has no idea about anything.

Anonymous said...

To the people who want to keep talking about the "mess in Chapel Hill perhaps it is time to reflect that the issues giving rise to the NCAA investigation occurred nearly two years ago. Since that time, eye football coach has been replaced, the athletic director has retired and the school has implemented more controls on top of some of th already absurd controls that the NCAA has in place to begin with. We still await sanctions from the NCAA which is proving its ineptitude each day a decision is delayed. As an alumni of UNC I was embarrassed by the actions leading to the sanctions, particularly the African American Studies department. That said, it is time for you folks o find other dead horse to beat on, because UNC has handled its shortcomings appropriately. It is one of he finest schools in he country without debate and though its athletic program is too large like at all division one schools, the people running it and the administration are motivated to do it right.

Anonymous said...

His opinion is exactly what one would expect from a "Bubba." Apparently UNC has made a serious hiring mistake.

Anonymous said...

1st two rounds of march madness is best long weekend for sports fans.
Salami St and Cactus U need to stay home.

Why not add the Nike tour to the masters so they can destroy that mancave wkend too?

Anonymous said...

Finest school apparently does not teach the "alumni" that he or she is actually an "alumnus".

Phil57 said...

Research your cheap shots before posting. 'Heels have been in only one NIT under Williams.

Anonymous said...

EVERY nc state fan should push hard for this. Maybe then they would finally qualify.

Anonymous said...

NC State just needs to leave the ACC and join the CIAA so they can be competitive

Anonymous said...

Anon at 7:24....ask the crybabies in Chapel Hill about Weber State and whether or not they should have not been allowed in the tourney in 1999.....

Anonymous said...

..."don't have great deal of hope." Here is an idea: Win some more fucking games, then you'll get in. What a fucking idiot.

pooler said...

Why are 'they' comparing college sports to major professional sports? The athletes don't make nearly as much money as the pros. Therefore, the college season shouldn't be as long.

price per head software said...

hahaha I laughed so hard at that surrealistic idea, how in hell did they come up with a 128-team NCAA tournament?? the whole idea is just hilarious