Tuesday, March 10, 2009


I love this time of year. Conference tournaments have started, the brackets are being built, automatic births are being distributed, and like every year, there are going to be some snubs. What I don't like about the current system is that some good and worthy teams are snubbed, while two teams that have "earned" a "tournament birth" by winning their conference tournament have to play a game just to get into the real tournament.

So what is the solution? I think we need more play in games.

Wait, more play in games. There already is a play in game and most people hate it...

Yes, people don't like the play in game, but that is because it is not interesting and it always pits two small schools that will lose in the first round against each other.

Here are my suggestions:
1) If a team earns an automatic bid, they should be seeded in the tournament.
2) Instead of seeding the 11 and 12 seeds of each bracket with the dregs of the major conferences, make those spots the play in games and pit two major programs against each other for the right to enter the tournament.

What will this do?
Instead of a battle of almost 16 seeds that are destined to lose, it will pit some schools that could actually make a run in the tournament against each other. In addition, it will reward the small schools who won the right to be seeded. (Which for my money the small schools are what give the tournament its texture and intrigue.)

So can this work?
I think so. Here is my bracket prediction for this year's tournament if they put in eight elimination games.