Written by Tim Hoffman Wednesday, 14 July 2010 15:56
The NCAA announced that March Madness is going to be getting a whole lot more mad next year, as they expand to 1367.5 teams in an effort to boost revenue and ratings. The move was met with groans from the general sports media, who questioned the logistics outlined in the NCAA's unveiling presentation today.
Apparently pretty much any basketball team in the country, organized or unorganized, will be making the March tournament. Only next year, it won't just be contained to one month. Organizers say that the new tournament will now span three years. That is how much time will be needed for the 42 regional sites, up from the traditional four, to conduct their brackets.
"We have never been more behind an idea than this one," said NCAA President Bill Whitford. "We have had so many good teams just miss out on making this tournament, this will ensure none ever do again! Just imagine people's brackets they are going to get to fill out at work. I'd advise all managers to maybe schedule a company holiday or two in March so they can get all the names down all that thing. And also to invest in a lot more paper, they are going to need lots of room to draw this bracket out."
Due to the sheer number of teams in next year's tournament, it is expected to actually take a year and a half to finish. The final few rounds will actually overlap with the following year's tournament, but NCAA management doesn't feel it's a problem.
"People love watching March Madness basketball!" continued Whitford. "Now they can have Summer Madness basketball! It will be on in the middle of the night! Nonstop college action! CBS has already cancelled all original programming they were hoping to show next year, and instead will just be airing games 24/7. Needless to say, they are very excited about this expansion as well."
A lot has been made of the number they chose to expand to. 1367.5, which they confirmed today means that one team will only get to field half a roster on the court.
"Look, now that we are allowing over a thousand teams into this thing. If you're the last team on the list, you're clearly no good. As punishment for that, you only get to bring half your team. But just think of the upset, should the 1367.5 seed beat the number one seed! It would be complete anarchy! That's just one of the many additions our new format will provide."