Busting Brackets

NCAA Basketball: NC State's run likely to spark more tournament expansion talk

Mar 31, 2024; Dallas, TX, USA; North Carolina State Wolfpack forward Ben Middlebrooks (34)
Mar 31, 2024; Dallas, TX, USA; North Carolina State Wolfpack forward Ben Middlebrooks (34) / Tim Heitman-USA TODAY Sports
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Tom Izzo's comments

Michigan State coach Tom Izzo was asked about Sankey's comments just before the NCAA tournament. Like a good politician, he landed on every side of the issue, sparking even more debate. Izzo said he wouldn't mind expansion but in the next breath seemed to side with Sankey about early-round upsets. He then brought up a couple of issues involving expansion, money, and regular season results.

On Selection Sunday Izzo said, "I was hoping they’d expand it to one hundred" because he knew some good teams were going to be left out of this year's field. But he said the reason why some of those teams didn't get in was, "I feel for some of those teams that didn’t get in when you have those automatic bids." That statement is difficult to parse out what he meant, whether he was referring to the unusual amount of bid thieves in this year's tournament or piggybacking off his earlier comments when he said, "I just think what’s happening now, everybody likes upsets in the first weekend, but I’m not sure moving on that’s what’s best for the game."

He did suggest that there should be changes, not only to the postseason but also to who is making those decisions. As he admitted it's a delicate situation and not one where A+B always equals C. He talks about conference tournaments and how it's not as easy as just getting rid of them because there's a financial component involved that is important, especially to teams in the smaller conferences. This is one of the things

I agree with Izzo that, there has to be a way to make the regular season a more important part of the postseason and not rely solely on conference tournaments. It is disappointing to see a team who dominated for three months, have one bad night in March and see their dreams of an NCAA tournament appearance disappear.

As much as we all enjoy championship week, there has to be a happy medium somewhere. Another thing we see eye to eye on is that when fundamental changes are being discussed there has to be more input from coaches, and coaches at every level of division I, not just administrators of leagues and schools, especially ones behind the brokering of the ever-growing power conferences. Izzo said changes have to be discussed and he would like to be involved, "I’d sure like to really get in a room with people where there’s coaches in the room and administrators, instead of the way it’s been where there’s like one coach and 30 administrators."