Ornery.org
  Front Page   |   About Ornery.org   |   World Watch   |   Guest Essays   |   Contact Us

The Ornery American Forum Post New Topic  Post A Reply
my profile login | register | search | faq | forum home

  next oldest topic   next newest topic
» The Ornery American Forum » General Comments » A rant about conference champions being relegated to play-in games

 - UBBFriend: Email this page to someone!    
Author Topic: A rant about conference champions being relegated to play-in games
philnotfil
Member
Member # 1881

 - posted      Profile for philnotfil     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
For those that don't follow NCAA basketball, from 1985-2000 the tournament had a field of 64 teams. 30 conference tournament conference champions received automatic bids and 34 at large bids were given out by the selection committee. The creation of the Mountain West Conference (MWC) in 1999 unbalanced things.

The NCAA had to choose between an automatic bid for a new conference at the expense of an at large bid, or denying new conferences at large bids and keeping the 34 at large bids. The first year they chose not to give the MWC an automatic bid, although they did make plans for a "play-in" game that would allow an automatic bid for the MWC and still keep the 34 at large bids.

The play-in game would pit the two worst teams to qualify for the tournament in a pre-opening round game to determine which team would make it to the tournament. The problem is that they chose to make two small conference champions, teams which had earned the right to represent their team in the NCAA tournament, play one more game to reach the tournament.

If the conference isn't good enough to get an automatic bid to the tournament, don't give them an automatic bid to the tournament. If they are good enough to get an automatic bid, then give them an automatic bid, not a chance to play one more game to get in.

This year they expanded the field to 68, with four play-in games. Now there are 37 at large spots, but only 29 conference champions will get to play in the big dance. Two of the play-in games will really be play-in games, while the other two will again pit conference champions against conference champions.

USC vs. VCU and UAB vs. Clemson are rewards, a last chance at redemption for teams who fell a little short. UTSA vs. ALST and UNCA vs. UALR are slaps in the face for teams that did everything they were asked to do.

The NCAA needs to fix this or do away with automatic bids altogether.

Posts: 3719 | Registered: Jul 2004  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
Clark
Member
Member # 2727

 - posted      Profile for Clark   Email Clark   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
I dislike the "play-in" game(s) from an aesthetic point of view. 64 is such a nice number for a tournament. 65 is ugly. 68 is slightly better, but not much.

It is undeniable that the champions from the smaller conferences are the weakest teams in the tournament, and not as good as many of the teams that are unable to obtain an at-large spot. I fully support giving the spots to the conference champions, though. It feels right, even if the tournament does not, thereby, represent the 64 (or 65, or 68) best teams in the country.

I do, however, want to point out one way that the extra play-in game(s) benefit the small conferences. Payout from the NCAA tournament is divided up based on the number of games the teams play in. The numbers vary from year to year, but for each game a team appears in (except for the final four and championship games, I believe) the conference that team belongs to receives a bit over $200,000 per year, for the next 6 years. So, each bid is worth $1.2M to the conference, and each victory is worth the same. For the biggest schools in the sports scene, this is the equivalent of finding $20 in the wash. It's certainly nice, and no one would ever turn it down. But to smaller schools this funding is much more significant. The smallest 10 conferences essentially never win NCAA tournament games. Without the play-in game, combined they would get 10 x $1.2M = $12M per year. But when they get to play each other in the play-in game, someone is has to win, so those same 10 conferences get an extra $1.2M! Now, they don't share it with each other, but presumably the teams in the play-in game will be spread out among the weakest conferences over the years.

I've also heard the argument made that another benefit is that the team and students that win the play-in game, get to claim an NCAA tournament victory, something they would almost certainly not get to do without the play-in game. You (and I) might argue that this is a hollow victory to claim. I suppose we'd need to poll the teams involved in the game to get a sense of how they feel about it.

In all, I'd support getting rid of the 65th (66th, 67th and 68th) team(s) in the tournament, but I wanted to present a little bit more information for folks to consider.

Posts: 420 | Registered: Jan 2006  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
msquared
Member
Member # 113

 - posted      Profile for msquared   Email msquared   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
I am all for the play in games since they have been held in my home town since they started. I hope they keep them. We could use the business.

msquared

Posts: 4002 | Registered: Nov 2000  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
The Drake
Member
Member # 2128

 - posted      Profile for The Drake   Email The Drake   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
Is there something worse about getting bounced in a play-in game versus the official first round? That said, why can't we add a full round and go to 128 teams? BRACKET MANIA! [Smile]
Posts: 7707 | Registered: Oct 2004  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
philnotfil
Member
Member # 1881

 - posted      Profile for philnotfil     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
I think it is telling that all of the national bracket challenges are still accepting submissions, and will be until Thursday, when the tournament really starts.
Posts: 3719 | Registered: Jul 2004  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
RickyB
Member
Member # 1464

 - posted      Profile for RickyB   Email RickyB   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
It's even worse in the NIT. Harvard was on the NCAA bubble, and is seeded 6th in the NIT. A bunch of conference champions are seeded 7-8. Really stupid stuff.
Posts: 19145 | Registered: Jan 2004  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
   

Quick Reply
Message:

HTML is not enabled.
UBB Code™ is enabled.
UBB Code™ Images not permitted.
Instant Graemlins
   


Post New Topic  Post A Reply Close Topic   Feature Topic   Move Topic   Delete Topic next oldest topic   next newest topic
 - Printer-friendly view of this topic
Hop To:


Contact Us | Ornery.org Front Page

Powered by Infopop Corporation
UBB.classic™ 6.7.1