The calendar turned to March this week, which means one of our nation's most celebrated sporting events is just around the corner. Two Sundays from now, CBS studio host Greg Gumbel will read off the names of 65 college basketball teams. Millions of fans around the country will race to fill out their brackets. Many will find excuses to skip work or take long lunch breaks the following Thursday and Friday, as another NCAA tournament tips off.
But behind the scenes, executives in charge of this multibillion-dollar event are holding discussions that could drastically alter the future of March Madness. On the eve of potential network television renegotiations, committees and panels representing the NCAA and its members must soon decide whether to implement the first major expansion of the tourney's field in 25 years.