ACC Coaches Propose Expanding The NCAA Tournament To Let EVERY SINGLE DIVISION I TEAM Compete In March Madness In 2021

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As the proud alumni of a school that hasn’t even sniffed the NCAA Tournament since they were swiftly eliminated in the first round of The Big Dance the spring before I arrived for my freshman year over a decade ago, it’s been a while since I had any real incentive to tune into many college basketball games over the course of the regular season.

However, that doesn’t stop me from filling out a bracket every single year with the confidence of a man who can name more than two players who will be competing in the tourney and picks winners based on what they saw from a team in the months leading up to it as opposed to assuming they’re still as good as they were that one year where their roster featured guys who currently qualify for the NBA’s veteran’s minimum.

March Madness is one of the most electric events the world of sports has to offer, and while there are plenty of reasons to eagerly anticipate its arrival, there are a couple of constants I look forward to more than any others that keep me coming back year after year. Having an excuse to crack a beer at noon on a Thursday without feeling like you’re doing something wrong is probably the one thing I anticipate the most, but as an absolute sucker for a Cinderella story, I always head into the tournament hoping some ragtag group of underdogs from a school I didn’t even know existed until they got the nod on Selection Sunday stages an unlikely run.

The thrill that comes with seeing the likes of George Mason, UMBC, and the Flordia Gulf Coast team that was home to Sherwood Brown and the other residents of “Dunk City” defy the odds by toppling perennial powerhouses is usually enough to cancel out the frustration that comes with the fact that they’re the ones largely responsible for leaving your bracket in shambles.  This is especially true when you don’t have a dog in the hunt, as you can just foster one of those schools if you’re looking for someone to root for.

The NCAA Tournament has expanded a few times over the course of its history and next spring will mark the 10th year since the field grew to 68 teams. However, that number could be significantly higher in 2021 if the NCAA chooses to adopt a proposal that was recently floated by the ACC coaches who are lobbying to give every single Division I squad a shot at cutting down the net.

According to ESPN, Mike Krzyzewski is leading the charge to institute an approach that was unanimously approved by the other head coaches in the conference, and while there aren’t many details concerning the logistics, Stadium‘s Jeff Goodman said it would be structured in a way to give a total of 346 teams a theoretical shot at winning a national championship in a way that would promote the safety of everyone involved.

Based on a statement Louisville’s Chris Mack posted on Twitter, it appears the proposal is designed to allow schools to roll with any punches that may come their way this year without having to worry about the impact any schedule changes may have on their ability to make the postseason.

 

The NCAA is doing everything in its power to ensure next year’s tournament doesn’t befall the same fate as the one it was forced to call off back in March, and based on a recent trademark filing, it appears it’s exploring a way to harness the bubble strategy that has allowed the NHL and NBA to finish out their seasons in an impressively secure environment. A massive tournament like the one the guys at the helm in the ACC are discussing would obviously be pretty compelling, but in the end, I’m happy to settle for anything that allows me to justify drinking on a weekday afternoon.