I can sum up this year’s college basketball season in three words, “One and Done.” Now when I mention the term one and done. Your mind probably goes to the common place of the NBA rule, which mandates a player to be either 19 or one year removed from college. You know the rule…the one that was supposed to save immature intercity kids from the traps of the evil real world. When in all actually they were making sure NBA owners didn’t give their money to kids that were more concerned with the purple drank than playing basketball. That’s a bad rule, but it’s not the rule I want to talk about (Even though I just wrote a paragraph about it). I want to address why there seems to be so many upsets in college basketball.
Every week it we have a new #1 one team in college basketball, and every week that team loses. Many people have said it is because there are no great teams in college basketball. Now I will concede that there is some validity to that assumption. However, I would also argue that the number of upsets can be contributed to a meaningless regular season. Rankings in college basketball don’t mean anything. Every good team has an opportunity to win the national title (via the NCAA Tournament). Consequently games don’t mean as much, and you get weekly upsets. This is College Basketball biggest problem. “Well Kortney how do you fix it?” “I thought you’d never ask (actually I knew you would ask, because I’m the one writing the blog).” I think the number of NCAA Tournament bids should be contract from 68 to 48, and bids should be rewarded to teams based on record, with an emphasis on conference play. Here is how the tournament bids would breakdown in a 48 team field.
- 6 Automatic bids for regular season Conference Champions in the ACC, Big East, Big 12, Big Ten, Pac-10, and SEC
- 32 Automatic bids for Conference Tournament Championship (If the respective conference has no tournament? The bid will go to the team with the best conference record. If the tournament is won by a team already holding a bid. The bid will go to the tournament runner up.
- The remaining 10 spots will be at large bids.
The tournament seeding would be decided by a panel as it is now. The only tweak is that the top 4 seeds in each region would get byes into the second round of 32. While the reaming lower seeded teams would compete in, “The First 32” (You see how creative I got with that title…pure genius). My tournament regional brackets would look like the one below.
Now I know many people would say that this system would be unfair to teams from weaker conferences. To that I would say, each of those weaker conferences would receive an automatic bid for their conference champion, and they would be eligible for the 10 at large bids. I would also say, it’s not the job of the NCAA Tournament to be fair. The tournament’s only obligation is to pick the best teams. This isn’t a charity case. If you want charity, go to the NIT (which would inevitably feature underachievers, and any team coached by Seth Greenberg).
At the end of the day you have to make college basketball’s regular season meaningful. I believe contracting tournament bids would be a step in the right direction. I maybe be wrong, but something needs to be done. If not, get use to the one and done.
-Kortney Shane Williams
Comedian and Writer