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NCAA Selection Committee to Discuss Field Size Options

NCAA Tournament selection committee chairman Dan Guerrero said that he would like to view options regarding the 2011 tournament when the committee meets later this month in Indianapolis.

The director of athletics at UCLA expects to discuss and debate several ideas on the format of the NCAA tournament, relating to expansion of the field.

Currently, the committee has approved the addition of three teams to the slate of teams to increase the field to 68, from 65.

A final decision will be reached in June in Chicago.

“That’s the obvious one, to seed the teams in a true manner from 1 to 17 and call it a day,” Guerrero remarked.

That option will be met with some distaste among smaller conferences, who struggle to get into the tournament as it sits now, being forced to win their conference tournament to get a berth into the field.

“We’ve always believed in the true seed,” remarked Mike Slive, who is the commissioner of the Southeastern Conference.

“I want to have time to analyze several scenarios,” Slive added. “One of the things that the committee has not done, except for the bracketing principles, is not to be true to the seeding.”

Dan Beebe, who is the commissioner of the Big 12 conference stated that while simply adding three teams to the field would be straightforward, there is another scenarios that must not be thrown by the wayside.

“We’re going to toss out ideas, collect them from the membership at spring meetings and review them during a meeting in Indy,” Beebe stated. “We need to go in with an open mind and consider all the possibilities.”

Guerrero wants to make an informed decision that is the most logical.

“The team’s conference that wins that [opening-round] game receives an extra unit and that’s a big piece,” said NCAA vice president Greg Shaheen said. “This past year, the unit value was $225,000 paid out for six years, so that’s worth $1.2 to $1.3 million if you win one of those four [opening-round] games.”

Shaheen was also quick to point out that a 68-team field would not be temporary.

“There was this talk that it was a one-year stopping point and then move to 96,” Shaheen remarked. “There is no apparent interest for the basketball committee to further look at [expansion of the field] at this point in time. That’s the honest scoop.”

The Duke Blue Devils won the 2009-10 National championship, and were the only No.1 seed to advance to the Final Four, as betting favorite Online Sportsbooks, Kansas, fell.


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