Full Quote - “A couple of people from the D1 council called me and said Sankey kind of talked down to us a little bit and made it look like the NCAA Tournament may not look like the NCAA Tournament in a couple years, meaning the little guys might not be involved anymore.”
“I called a couple more guys on the committee who said (they) think they heard it wrong. All I’m saying is don’t be surprised if there’s a push from Greg Sankey and some of the big boys to not include the usual and that would be awful. That would be the worst thing to me for college basketball.”
Let's get right to the point here. FUUUUUCCCCKKKKK THIS. I love Greg Sankey. He's a genius. He's the best commissioner in the game. But cutting out mid-majors? Absolutely not. As much as I want to punch Saint Peter square in his stupid face, mid-majors is what makes the NCAA Tournament. People tune in to see Cinderella and if they can actually win a game. That's how it's supposed to be.
While I hate conference realignment, it's not the end-all be-all of sports, especially college basketball. There are far too many teams in Division I to miss out on good games. If I can live through the breakup of the old Big East and Maryland to the Big 10, I can live through whatever the hell is happening with mega conferences.
But ask the casual fan to close their eyes and list NCAA Tournament moments. You likely think of Saint Peter's, FGCU, VCU, George Mason, Kent State, Butler, UMBC, etc. That's what makes the NCAA Tournament the best (and worst) thing in all of sports. There's no better way to determine a champion, there's no worst way to determine the best team. George Mason was not better than that UConn team, but they were on one day and that's all that matters.
There's no way we see this change in the NCAA Tournament. I refuse to believe people will go for it. There's too much money and too many eyeballs. Plus, if there's any sort of leak like this and everyone hears how much it sucks, they won't go through with it. As much as we make fun of these guys they are still human and want to hear good ideas.
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.
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.