Greg Sankey weighs in on possibility of NCAA Tournament expansion
Greg Sankey is a proponent of expanding the Big Dance.
Currently the NCAA Tournament is set at 68 teams, and lasts a full 3 weeks in March (and April) of each season. The competition was expanded to 64 teams in 1985, 65 in 2001, and finally 68 in 2011, where it has remained since. According to the SEC commissioner, expansion is about helping teams grow, not just growing the tournament itself.
He made some comments on the NCAA Tournament during SEC Basketball Media Days on Wednesday (via On3 Sports):
“What I’ve been through is a set of conversations at the national level, about being fearful through this NCAA transformation process that things would be taken away. My advocacy was, rather than worrying about taking things away, why don’t we take a step back and think about how we grow? The division’s grown over time. The number of members, the quality of basketball, the commitment that I’ve talked about here, the expectations that are upon any number of programs nationally. So, why don’t we facilitate those opportunities?”
Sankey isn’t the only fan of growing the Tournament. The NCAA proposed a concept last week that championship tournaments could include up to 25% of any sport’s membership. As it stands now, the number of men’s basketball teams competing in Division I is 363, with 19% competing in the tournament of 68, which leaves plenty of room to add more teams under the guidelines.
NCAA basketball season tips off on Nov. 7.