The NCAA Tournament is a brand. March Madness is a living, breathing organism that dominates the news stream for one month every year; food for junkies to feast on. This is exactly the way the NCAA likes it, and it doesn’t intend to mess any further with a carefully constructed formula that has already seen its fair share of change to arrive at its current state.
”Over the past many, many decades, the core is really solid, so it’s what can we do to enhance it without taking away from that core,” NCAA’s Division I men’s basketball committee chair Mark Hollis said in a statement on Monday.
”Because of the intricacies of the NCAA Tournament, I would challenge that’s something you wouldn’t want to touch. We live in a society where we want to change, improve everything, but the core of it is pretty good.”
In 1985, the governing body expanded the tournament from 53 teams to 64 teams.
That remained in place until 2001, when it added a play in game, expanding the filed to 65. This remains the format today and it appears it will be for some time. While Dan Gavitt, NCAA vice president of men’s basketball championships didn’t call expansion impossible, but he didn’t make it seem likely.
“Is it (expansion) possible in the future? Sure, anything’s possible, but I don’t see that in the short term,” he noted.
If the NCAA is going to make changes, it will be at the regional and be more on a promotional level, rather than a structural level. It hopes to turn regional playoffs into more standalone events, similar to what the Final Four is.