As college basketball prepares to enter another unprecedented season of play, many have wondered how an NCAA Tournament bracket can be selected amid limited games, little to no non-conference games, and unusual playing circumstances. After all, if teams aren’t playing, how can anybody know how to seed them for March?
Well, it looks like the ACC has come up with a solution.
On Wednesday, Jon Rothstein reported that the ACC plans on proposing that every Division I team be included in the 2021 NCAA Tournament field, regardless of record. Obviously, that would shake up things a bit.
Source: All ACC programs agreed earlier today to have every single Division 1 team in the 2021 NCAA Tournament.— Jon Rothstein (@JonRothstein) September 9, 2020
Several are expected to release official statements later today.
This is being done to "celebrate" college basketball. https://t.co/wuCMZ8QLtE
From a fairness perspective, it’s hard to argue with the ACC’s proposal. Most are already expecting a shortened season with little to no non-conference matchups. And with limited opportunities to see how conferences perform against one another, it’s going to be extraordinarily difficult to assess any team’s national profile.
We may think certain teams are good, but how can we be confident in anything with limited sample sizes and so little play between the conferences? The ACC’s proposal would fix that by removing the question altogether. Just put everyone in and there’s no reason for debate.
However, the logistics of this are mind boggling. Division I had 351 teams last year. Putting that many teams in the field would be a pretty sizable jump from the current bracket of 68 teams. You’re talking about adding two to three additional rounds of play and at least a full week on top of the current NCAA format. That’s a lot of extra games.
Whether this actually comes to fruitition will be something we have to watch in the weeks to come. But if you’re a fan of March Madness, it seems possible you might have more games than ever before next year.