NCAA Considered A 16-Team March Madness Tournament Before It Was Canceled

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David Hookstead Sports And Entertainment Editor
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The NCAA considered playing a smaller March Madness tournament before the event was canned.

The event was officially canceled last Thursday because of coronavirus, and the move came after conference tournaments were shut down. (RELATED: David Hookstead Is The True King In The North When It Comes To College Football)


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Dan Gavitt, NCAA’s vice president of men’s basketball, told the Associated Press there were discussions about potentially narrowing the field down to the 16 best teams in America.

Gavitt explained the 16-team idea in part with the following:

There was a real concern about not being inclusive enough, with only 16 teams. But the other thing that was in play at that point in committee members’ minds, and we saw this play out at conference tournaments, once an NBA player was infected, I think it started to really hit home for the players, from what I’ve heard from coaches by text message and anecdotally

This would have been an absolute mess if it’d happened. Do I wish we got at least some games? Yes, of course I do.

A few games would have been better than nothing, but finding out the 16 teams that would be in the tournament would have been a disaster.


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Conference championships and auto-bids wouldn’t have mattered. That would have meant the people in the room just picked who they wanted.

The Badgers won the best conference in America. Would they have even gotten in? Who knows. Again, it would have been a nightmare.


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Still, I would have welcomed it with open arms. Playing zero games is nothing short of cruel.