Report: NCAA Unveils Men’s March Madness Growth Plans with Extra 4-8 Teams

GLENDALE, ARIZONA - APRIL 08: A general view of the Final Four logo on the court during the NCAA Men's Basketball Tournament National Championship game between the Purdue Boilermakers and the Connecticut Huskies at State Farm Stadium on April 08, 2024 in Glendale, Arizona. (Photo by Chris Coduto/Getty Images)

Chris Coduto/Getty Photography

The NCAA males’s and females’s basketball tournaments shall be growing as rapidly because the 2025-26 advertising and marketing campaign.

Ross Dellenger of Yahoo Sports reported Wednesday that NCAA officials offered extra than one objects of doable expansion with regard to the males’s match to Division I conference commissioners. The expectation is the females’s match would adjust to swimsuit if the males’s match expands.

One mannequin featured four extra groups, growing essentially the most genuine 68-team field to 72. The diversified featured eight extra groups, which could well mean 76 groups within the field.

Dellenger well-known there also can no longer be any expansion except the 2025-26 season at the very earliest.

As Dellenger defined, there is a troublesome balancing act when it involves any expansion discussions.

On the one hand, energy conferences that will salvage the majority of the roughly $700 million the NCAA yearly distributes to its faculties desire extra at-gigantic bids on hand to supply extra groups the different to both pursue a championship and achieve extra income.

Extra income is particularly famous in this present day’s school sports activities ambiance following the the Condo v. NCAA case that paves the model for eventual income sharing with athletes.

On the diversified hand, the Wide Dance is basically defined by minute-conference faculties that robotically qualify by winning their league’s tournaments then pulling off monumental upsets and capturing the hearts of sports activities followers all the arrangement thru the country.

In mutter in self belief to steer clear of taking away any of the 28 minute-conference automatic qualifiers, NCAA leaders would achieve bigger the field to incorporate at the least one extra First Four put with play-in games. Which technique extra groups within the 10-12 seed differ enjoying appropriate one or two days earlier than the frail opening spherical with a 64-team bracket.

And this could occasionally furthermore mean discussions about potentially relegating minute-conference automatic qualifiers to mentioned play-in match games, which they’d completely be towards in any discussions.

Essentially the most most genuine expansion moved the match from 64 groups to 68 groups in 2011, which resulted in the First Four that is historically held in Dayton, Ohio.

The First Four sees two pairs of 16 seeds face each and every diversified and two pairs of at-gigantic choices face each and every diversified for coveted spots within the 64-team bracket that is so synonymous with March Madness. The females’s match finally adopted swimsuit with a spread to 68, even supposing it did now not happen except 2022.

At this level, expansion feels inevitable.

On the opposite hand, there is aloof plenty the NCAA officials and conference commissioners must work thru in mutter in self belief to attain it a actuality.

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