SBD/April 1, 2011/Colleges

Gene Smith Says NCAA Tournament First Four Format Will Be Re-Evaluated

Ohio State Univ. AD Gene Smith, who served as Chair of the men's basketball NCAA Tournament Selection Committee for the, said Thursday that there are "elements that would be re-evaluated" about the tournament, including the First Four format, according to Eddie Timanus of USA TODAY. Smith said that "one option likely to be discussed ... was playing all four games on Tuesday, though that creates logistical challenges at the front end -- getting farther-flung teams to Dayton for games 48 hours or less after the bracket is unveiled." Two games "could be moved to a second site, probably in the West and possibly one hosting second- and third-round games." Smith said that the panel also "will look at the attendance at regionals this year in New Orleans and San Antonio." Crowds at New Orleans Arena "were announced at a little more than 12,000 each session," while San Antonio's Alamodome "had 14,566 for the regional semifinals and 14,299 for Sunday's VCU-Kansas final." An '07 regional in San Antonio "drew better than 26,000 each day." Timanus writes an "unconventional regional field of VCU, Richmond and Florida State, plus top-seeded Kansas, might have helped keep this year's number down" (USA TODAY, 4/1).
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