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Mount, Maryland Win…Play-In Sucks

greivis vasquez and bambale osbyTonight was a good night for local hoops…sort of.

Mount Saint Mary’s took down Coppin State 69-60. After that, the Terps continued the ACC‘s domination of the Big Ten by beating Minnesota — on the road in the NIT — by 68-58.

It’s a shame Coppin had to go home, but they did lose 20 games this season.

Here’s what I really want to talk about, though: the so-called “opening round” game, which we all understand as the “play-in” game. As in, here are two teams not really good enough to be in the tournament, so they have to “play in” to the field of 64.

It’s nonsense. It unfairly penalizes two teams who earned a spot. Coppin State deserved the same chance to stare down a #1 seed that Mount now gets. Why make them fight for it?

There’s an easy fix for this, and it’s one where everybody wins: have four play-in games instead of one. One play-in game per region.

Make Tuesday night a “do or die” night where eight teams square off for a chance to make the show. But instead of making these games a struggle among small conference champions, make them a struggle among all the major conference teams who were “on the bubble” on Selection Sunday. Give teams like Virginia Tech and Arizona State a chance to really play their way in. Then reward the winners with, say, #12 seeds. Continue to reserve the lowest seeds for conference championship winners who have already earned their shot.

Who wouldn’t come out ahead in this scenario?

3 comments to Mount, Maryland Win…Play-In Sucks

  • Mike L

    I think the tournament is just fine the way it is. The play in game was started because one conferece split into two. I think the WAC split off to create the WCC or mountain west. They didnt want to take away an at large bid so now you have 65 teams earning bids.

    If you take 6 more teams and put them in play in games, make them weak conference champs, and reward those winners with 16 seeds, then you have 6 other “non-deserving” teams like syracuse, arizona state, florida, maryland, va tech getting into the big dance.

    If you take all the bubble teams and have them play play in games, then what about the teams on the bubble of the bubble. If you take major conferece schools put them in play in games and reward them with 12 seeds, then you have the situation where SEC champ Georiga (14) is seeded lower then a team they maybe beat in their conference tourney.

    Their was a time when shorts were short, hair was big, and there was only 32 teams in the big dance. Duke and MD were NIT regualars in the 60’s and 70’s when Carolina owned the ACC. You had to win the ACC to get in. Period.

    Someones always gonna miss out on the tourney. If its 128 teams, they’ll be saying “what about team 129 and 130.” 65 teams, leave it at that. The more teams you add, the more and more irrelavant february strecth run games, and the march conference tournaments get. If you want to get in than win more games. win qualitiy games, and dont lose games to teams you shouldnt lose too. Just win. no excuses

    I think the commitee chose a great field this year. syracuse is the big east equivilent of MD. Arizona state lost 5 of 9 to finish the year, and VA tech didnt beat Duke, UNC, or Clemson, and only had to play each one once. Florida, despite 21 wins, had a weak schedule, and piss poor in the conference tourny. If anyone got snubbed it could have been VCU. But thats what makes the conferece tourney so important.

    Its simple. Win enough games, and your in. It’s not corrupt like the BCS. By the way, Syracuse won the NIT in 2002, then the NCAA in 2003. So theres always next year.

    The tournament is perfect the way it is. everyone wants every team to get a chance. Next we’ll be talking about making it a double elimination tourney. so when a 16 gets bounced by a 1, then can play another loser with a second chance. Dont change a thing.

  • Mike L

    also neal, is there a leauge ID, and password for the bracket challege?

  • The Yeti

    The play in game is weak. I understand the NCAA does not want to do away with an at large bid. If you HAVE to have a play in game, shouldn’t it be between the last two at large teams to get bids? That way the teams that get the so called automatic bids are actually in the tournament and not left to play a game to determine if they will participate in the tournament proper.