The NCAA Men's Basketball Tournament has been one of the America's biggest sporting events for decades now. But there's really only one surefire way to make it even bigger: Expanding the field.
That's exactly what the NCAA Division I Transformation Committee has been discussing, according to CBS' Matt Norlander. And it's not just for the men's tournament either.
The women's basketball tournament, the NCAA baseball tournament and others are being looked at for expansion too. Per the report, the NCAA is tabling an idea that could allow up to 90 Division I teams (roughly 25-percent) to qualify for the initial bracket in the respective sport.
"The committee is putting an idea on the table that all Division I sports could allow as much as 25% of a sport’s teams to be able to qualify for said sport’s NCAA bracket,” Norlander wrote. “In layman’s terms — and at its extreme — this would mean college basketball’s 363-school population could one day, theoretically, allow for as many as 90 teams in March Madness.”
But this idea appears to be getting mixed reactions by those discussing it.
Norlander's report mentions one conference commissioner isn't a fan of the idea of the tournament being expanded to allowed teams that may be undeserving of a spot.
That said, perhaps putting the largest possible number out there and feeling out how people react is how the NCAA plans to negotiate its way down to an expanded field of only slightly larger size.
Shooting for 90 might be the way for the NCAA to get the field to 70, 72 or 76 teams in the years to come.
The NCAA Tournament has featured an initial field of 68 since 2011 with four play-in games. But we had some amazing play-in games this past year so the NCAA might be licking its chops at the idea of getting more like them.
Will the NCAA Tournament stay at 68 teams forever, or will the field be expanded?