RCS Sidelines

April 22, 2010 3:20 PM

The NCAA Manages to Not Ruin Everything

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At the conclusion of this past NCAA Tournament college basketball was at its peak in my mind. My team (yes, everyone now make fun of me for being a Duke fan. Trust me, it's nothing I haven't heard before) won the National Championship, and perhaps more importantly, we had just witnessed a great tournament full of close games, upsets and buzzer beaters - everything one could ask for in a tournament. It appeared that the future of college basketball would be forever changed, as everyone assumed a 96-team tournament was inevitable.

A 96-team would have changed the tournament forever, and ruined a lot of what makes it great. The anticipation and excitement of that first Thursday would be ruined. If I didn't work from home I might not even have skipped work to watch. But word came out today that the NCAA has decided to expand the tournament, but only to 68 teams.

While this is bad news for the Lehighs and East Tennessee States of the world (assuming the expansion means more play-in games), it is much better than the alternative of a watered-down 96-team crapfest. But, that's not all, not only did they avoid over expanding the tournament, they also improved it.

A new 14-year contract was signed between the NCAA and CBS and Turner Broadcasting. This new TV contract means that now every game of the tournament will be shown on live TV! Between CBS, TNT, TBS, and truTV every game will be available nationally. No longer will you have to wait until the last 12 seconds of a close game for CBS to switch over to it. You now have that power in the palm of your hand.

Somehow the NCAA was a part of not one, but two good decisions. Soak it in college sports fans, it's not likely you'll see it happen again.

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