Of course March Madness is great. "The best spectacle in sport." "Three weeks without equal." Blah blah blah. Not content to leave well enough alone, we want to know if it can be better. We're in search of a more perfect tournament. So, we asked a few friends of the magazine if they had any ideas for improving the NCAAs. Here's what Aaron Kaplowitz, a reporter for SLAM, thinks we should do.
The talking heads at ESPN have been talking their heads off about expanding the number of participants in the NCAA Tournament's field--a blasphemous proposal to college basketball purists who believe that the NCAA has found perfection in 64. (Or is it 65?) I know just the solution to quench the desires of those who wish to see more teams--and a more exciting March--without disrupting the current system.
The NCAA should keep Selection Sunday as is, but delay the start of the tournament by a week. Cram the 32-team National Invitation Tournament into that extra week, with the winner receiving the final ticket to the Big Dance.
Since purchasing the NIT in 2005, the NCAA would look to make more money with another week of unpredictably wild basketball, while restoring glory and relevance to a tournament that used to be The Tournament. And the bubble schools that were the first teams out of the Field of 64 would get the opportunity to prove their worth. I bet the much maligned NCAA Selection Committee wouldn't mind the load off.
Will Leitch: Let all teams in the tournament.
John Gasaway: Reward mid-major conference teams already.
Will Blythe: Nationalize the office pool!
Matthew Yglesias: The madness makes it work!
Jason Zengerle: Let Duke go straight to the Sweet 16.
Gary Hoenig: Have college teams play the Knicks.