[CBS] - Which gets me back to my idea: tournaments, tournaments everywhere! The oversight committees, and all other stakeholders, should blow up the 2020-21 nonconference slate. Start with a clean sheet. Every single noncon game scheduled for this season gets renegotiated for another time. The NCAA can protect its membership from itself by making a ruling that the only allowable nonconference games during the unique era of the coronavirus would be in these 32-team tournaments.
We save the best for last and make a best-of-the-best bracket. The NCAA will rely on its voting entity of record, the AP preseason poll, to field the last and best tournament. Just as its true at the end of the season, the start of the season will have a bracket with all of the best teams in it. The top 29 vote-getters in the preseason AP Poll will be dropped into a bracket that would be formatted to allow the top three teams to receive a bye, while the team in slot No. 4 would play the team in slot No. 29, No. 5 plays No. 28, and so on.
So this brainchild came from Matt Norlander and Bob Walsh - who used to coach at Maine and now is on staff at Providence. I gotta admit. IT'S AWESOME. I need, no, we need this to happen. The idea is we missed out on the 2020 NCAA Tournament, so give us a shit ton of brackets to start this next season. Why not? We love tournaments. We get champions, we get seedings, we get random matchups. It's all double-elimination style, so teams get more games in for the nonconfernece.
The way Norlander built it is simple. You have 10 32-team Tournaments + the remaining 29 schools that are voted in the top-25 getting to the 11th Tournament.
Now you're wondering how we field these brackets. Who gets placed where and how? Good news: the selection committee will not be needed. There is no committee for these early season tournaments. There are no seeds -- not even for the best-of-the-best bracket. Everything is a random draw. You would start with the best-of-the-best bracket first, then tackle every other bracket one by one. With a 32-team format, and a maximum of 31 leagues eligible, at least one team from each conference will play in almost every bracket. (This is something that can be achieved relatively easily with software programming, the kind of thing the NCAA already pays people to do.) The only bracket procedures in place would be to not allow intra-league opponents to face each other in the first two rounds. And yes, BYU would be spared from playing on Sundays.
We get the random matchups. Now, the only thing I disagree with is the 11th tournament should be seeded. The preseason No. 1 team in the AP poll gets the No. 1 overall seed and so far down. But give me the random draw for the other 10 tournament with one caveat. Random drawing to pick your spot. If you draw '1' you get the 1st pick and get to go into any spot in the bracket you want and so on down. Give me the added drama of coaches hating each other and picking someone who you want to play. That would make for a great selection show.
But, again, this is the type of creativity we need. You can easily bubble these guys like it's any other regular tournament, but longer. You could broadcast this from noon to midnight too for a month. That's how you get ratings. That's how you get people watching college hoops more in November and December.
I fully endorse this and ready to get on board with 11 Tournament November. You know what? Let's get even weirder with it. The 11 champs get to a 12th tournament and we declare the nonconference champ. Shit, I miss college hoops. Just doesn't feel right not having the 2020 NCAA Tournament. Just give me a bracket, any bracket.