ESPN’s Jay Bilas is not a fan of the expansion of the NCAA men’s basketball tournament from 65 to 68 teams, saying he does not like “seeing the NCAA tournament becoming like Little League where everybody gets a trophy.” Bilas: “It's okay for it to be relatively difficult to get in." He said smaller conferences who traditionally played in the "play-in” games felt "stigmatized." Therefore, the NCAA had to "appease everyone, they had to put some of the at-larges in as well, and I don't think it makes a whole lot of sense" ("SportsCenter," ESPN, 3/15). Bilas added, “We're expanding just for money and just for television and all that and I've never been swayed by the argument that in football, they have 120 teams and 70 of them played in bowl games. I don't think the NCAA tournament round should be … Weed Eater bowls. The truth is we don't have 68 really good teams in college basketball.” More Bilas: “Those bowl games are not competing for the championship. It's getting kind of like America is where everybody gets a trophy" ("Mike & Mike in the Morning,", ESPN Radio, 3/16).
PICK YOUR POISON: SPORTING NEWS’ Mike DeCourcy writes last night’s Clemson-UAB first-round NCAA matchup was a “dreary game,” but it was the “best possible advertisement … for expansion to a 68-team NCAA Tournament field.” DeCourcy: “Your choices were not between a 65-team bracket and 68 teams. Your choices were between 68 teams and 96. Those were the options.” If the tournament consisted of 96 teams, “imagine what this week would have been like” (SPORTINGNEWS.com, 3/16).