April 12, 2010
Get the tombstone ready; the NCAA tournament as we know it may be gone within the month.
Sports Business Journal reports that interim NCAA president Jim Isch is expected to reveal his decision on tournament expansion at an executive committee meeting on Thursday, April 29. Isch is expected to recommend that the NCAA opt out of its current contract with CBS and expand the tournament field from 65 to 96.
We've written extensively about expansion here on The Dagger -- click here, here, here, here and definitely here for our thoughts -- but we can quickly summarize what we have been saying in two words: This stinks.
A vast majority of analysts and fans are in agreement. Regardless, it looks like only a Christian Laettner-like miracle will prevent expansion even though insiders say keeping things status quo is a "viable option." (Oh, not taking a sledgehammer to the greatest event in sports is still feasible?)
And in its continuing infinite wisdom, the NCAA also is reportedly discussing the idea of letting CBS and Turner Sports move the Final Four from over-the-air to cable in alternating years. Another great idea, guys. As if the casual fans aren't going to be alienated enough with a confusing bracket and watered down tournament, they'll be even more pleased when they won't be able to easily find the final three games every year.