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Matt Norlander

Mark Few speaks out against tournament expansion

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Since talk of NCAA tournament expansion began in a big way earlier this season, the coaches who have addressed the issue, largely, have been the ones in support of upping the teams and lowering the ante.

But we now have two high-profile guys who have gone on the record to say what just about every fan and writer around college basketball agrees with: it's a bad, money-driven idea.

First it was Jim Calhoun, everybody's favorite curmudgeon (sorry, Mr. Knight), who said the NCAA and coaches better think long and hard about the implications before going to 96 teams.

Mark Few spoke out Friday on "The Dan Patrick Show," bringing up the arguments that have been yelled from the rooftops by expansion detractors since December. The longtime mid-major (that's why this is particularly important) head coach said making the NCAAs is still considered a worthwhile accomplishment right now. Going to 96 teams would decrease the regular season and bubble discussion so many people love talking about.

But Few also said that the excitement of the charge toward the tournament, including the madness that is the NCAA tournament bubble, could get lost in the shuffle if the field were expanded.

"Think about what we're dealing with here down the stretch ... Everybody is talking about 'well, do you think they have enough wins to get in' ... and all of a sudden you kind of lose that if we go the other direction."

Sure Gonzaga's a near-lock every season to win the West Coast Conference, so Few's post as the head coach at "mid-major" is slightly misleading ... but he's still right. I'm guessing not one other coach in his conference would agree with him; they want a chance for the WCC to get another bid as frequently as possible. To that, I simply say this: beat Gonzaga.

Patrick has had a notable week with college coaches. Earlier, he had Bruce Pearl — who is pro-expansion — on, and I went into detail here about how and why Pearl's using the wrong argument when it comes to being in favor of adding teams.

Matt Norlander is the editor of College Hoops Journal. You can e-mail him at editor@collegehoopsjournal.com and follow him on Twitter.

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