[ESPN] - West Virginia men's basketball coach Bob Huggins said it's time for the major conferences to split from the other schools and create their own postseason tournament, so they can control the sport's most significant financial stream.
"They're doing it in football," Huggins told ESPN at Big 12 media day. "Why wouldn't they do it? The presidents and athletic directors that have all the juice, why wouldn't they do it? Makes no sense why they wouldn't do it. I think it's more 'Why wouldn't they?' than 'Why would they?' And then, the other people, they can have their own tournament."
"Those Cinderella schools are putting 200 people, at best, in their gym," Huggins said. "We're putting 14,000
Huggins said controlling the postseason tournament is a way for basketball to remain financially relevant in the future as college football's influence and footprint continue to grow. He said college basketball revenue, on many campuses, goes toward supporting football, while the NCAA makes the bulk of its money off its basketball tournament.
Let me start this blog by saying clearly we're Bob Huggins fans here. I'm also scared of him so I hope he doesn't get mad. But this idea? Well that idea STINKS out loud. Capital stinks too. You know what makes the NCAA Tournament? The Cinderella stories. The fact that all these years later anyone who is a fan of college basketball still remembers the name Harold 'The Show' Arceneaux. All-time NCAA Tournament guy and name. Then there's the Davidson's, the George Mason's, the VCU's, the Butler's, etc. Think about if we didn't have the Butler story. Brad Stevens doesn't get the Celtics job, that's for damn sure.
Is the NCAA Tournament perfect? Hell no. But guess what? Everyone has the same path to get there. You win your conference tournament. Mid-majors have the same chance to get there as a high-major team in that capacity. Then there's the at-large process. That's where it's a problem. You're relying on committee members and numbers. It's not perfect from seeding to the process. But the fact is the event is beautiful. 3 weeks, win or go home. It's the best way to determine a champion, even if it's not the best team.
Think about all the upsets we wouldn't have had in the history of this event if the high-majors break away. No UMBC over Virginia. No Lehigh over Duke. No Mercer over Duke. No FGCU to the Sweet 16. Shit, no Oral Roberts! No Norfolk State, no Northwestern State, no Santa Clara, no UAB, no Ron Hunter falling off his stool, the list keeps going on. The point is mid-majors is what makes the NCAA Tournament. You can't have an NCAA Tournament without people arguing about what mid-major team can pull the upset.
I'm begging to whoever, don't let this happen. Don't even let people talk about it. The NCAA Tournament is sacred. It starts in March, ends the first Monday in April. I don't want change here. If anything go back to 64 teams. That's the only change.