Tournament Committee Debates Over NCAA Basketball Tournament Expansion

March 11th, 2010 – By Bryan Cross

While College football believes that no playoff is necessary to determine a true national champion, college basketball believes that 65 teams might not be enough.

The NCAA has been in discussion of whether to expand the 64-team field in the NCAA basketball tournament to 96.

Dan Guerrero, director of athletics for UCLA also streamlines as the Division I Men’s college basketball committee chairman. He said that while discussion of expansion may take place, it will have no bearing on the selection process for the 2010 NCAA basketball tournament on Sunday.

“I can’t speak for any of the other committee members, but I don’t think there’s anyone thinking about what might happen in the future,” Guerrero remarked this week.

The selection committee will be responsible for selecting the 34 at-large teams to fill the 64-team tournament. The committee will begin to make their decision on Wednesday, and will continue through the official announcements on Sunday evening.

While the 2010 NCAA Tournament selection process is at the forefront for the committee, Guerrero stated that expansion remains a consistent debate.

“I believe that the discussion of expansion is sort of an evergreen topic, something that has always come to the forefront of the committee over the years,” he said. “It’s certainly heated up in present times.”

The last expansion for the NCAA tournament took place in 1985, in which the field increased from 48 teams to 64. The NCAA also made an addition in 2001 with the play-in game. Officially, the tournament has 65 teams that are selected, or receive an automatic invitation.

“There needs to be a lot more discussion, a lot more deliberation on what could happen and what might happen,” Guerrero remarked. “But it’s pure speculation at this point.”

Guerrero stated that now isn’t the best time for a full-fledged discussion however.

“Frankly, from our perspective, we know what our task at hand is,” Guerrero said. “I’m not trying to dodge the issue in any way, shape or form, but it’s not a reality in our world right now.”

Currently, there are 347 teams in Division I men’s basketball. The committee has a difficult task every year selecting the field. Mid-major teams continually produced a high level of talent, which makes the task that much more difficult.

“There’s a lot of parity across the country, a lot of teams that look alike,” Guerrero stated. “We will need to dig deep with all the nitty-gritty, all the information that we’ve been able to garner over the course of the season, both by watching games in person, on television, and of course by talking to each other.”

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2 Responses to “Tournament Committee Debates Over NCAA Basketball Tournament Expansion”
  1. Carolyn Bybee Says:

    We have had CAL season tickets for years and followed CAL basketball. May husband and I watch all the games for all the tournaments. The commentators are terrible. they do not announce the scores (On wide, flat screen T.V. the scores are hidden at the bottom. They talk the whole time the guys are playing. they do not call the game–don’t even announce who got the foul. women watch these games too and don’t care that much about all the the players in the whole world. We want to know what is happening in the game. I am so tired of the commentators chit chat–every year I sit and gripe about it as I watch the games. this year I am sending in my complaint!

  2. Carolyn Bybee Says:

    Send my comment on to the appropriate committee because I know of no other way to post it. Carolyn Bybeee

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