In a move that seemed to surprise everyone in the sports world Wednesday morning, the ACC’s men’s basketball coaches voiced their unanimous support for an “all-inclusive NCAA tournament,” that would include each one of the 346 Division-I programs currently eligible to participate in the 2021 postseason.
Chris Mack posted his official message of support shortly after word of the movement had begun to spread.
September 9, 2020
Within minutes of this proposal leaking, nearly every college basketball writer in the world came out strongly against the idea. In a vacuum, I’m with them.
The idea of a 300+ team March Madness seems ridiculous and unnecessary. Plus, you already sort of have an all-inclusive NCAA tournament when you take into account the fact that nearly every team in the sport qualifies for its league tournament and gets to play until they lose. The NCAA tournament is perfect — or would be perfect if we could get back to 64 teams — and should not be messed with.
If the NCAA could give us some sort of assurance that there is a plan in place or nearly in place that will give college basketball the best possible chance at having something resembling a normal 2020-21 season that culminates with something resembling a normal NCAA tournament, then I’d toss my voice in with the masses shouting about this being a horrendous idea that flies in the face of everything that makes the sport so unique and wonderful.
Therein lies the problem ...
One of the big questions that came up on the ACC call today was, “Who is actually making the decisions at the NCAA with college basketball and the NCAA tournament?”— Jeff Goodman (@GoodmanHoops) September 9, 2020
It’s fair. No one really knows.
The most common two words I continue to hear from coaches and AD's involving college basketball right now:— Jeff Goodman (@GoodmanHoops) September 9, 2020
I have zero confidence in the NCAA’s ability to do the simplest task correctly, so my faith in their ability to construct an elaborate plan for 357 college sports teams from across the country to compete safely and effectively in the middle of a pandemic is ... lacking.
If the season is going to be ridiculous (which seems more likely than not at the moment), let’s at least make sure that it’s the fun sort of ridiculous.
So fuck it, until I’m shown a plan for a somewhat “normal” season that seems like it has a reasonable shot at succeeding, I’m with the ACC coaches. Give me a Selection Show that lasts 17 hours and culminates with an actual fistfight between Seth Davis and Doug Gottlieb. Give me DePaul vs. Chicago State in the NCAA tournament. Give me Albany over Syracuse in an opening round stunner. Give me all the beautiful weirdness of March amplified all the way up to 357 (or 346).
Just for this year though.