Will there be a college basketball season this winter/spring? We'll see! All those pesky little details like the where, when, why, and how can be worked out later. Today is about big-picture, conceptual stuff. ACC basketball programs apparently got in the proper headspace and emerged from a hazy room with an idea so zany they had to sketch it out on a few napkins and then connect the whole complicated web with string up on particle board like so many Pepe Silvias.
This is a profoundly bad idea that will surely never come to fruition. Actually, strike that. We're all out of the prediction business after the past six months. The NCAA might actually agree to this as a Hail Mary to create even more interest and elimination-based inventory.
At the risk going full Toby Flenderson here enumerating all the reasons this is a bad idea, here are just a few. One, not every single team that plays needs to be rewarded with the postseason. For all that's wrong with sunglass-wearing dudes in their cars bitching about participation trophies, they have a solid point in this instance. Secondly, the committee struggles to properly seed the 46th-54th best teams in the current tournament. What, in God's name, are they going to do with 313-343? Just an absolute disaster waiting to happen.
The biggest problem, though, is that this revolutionary idea isn't revolutionary at all. What these guys did is invent the conference tournament. A situation in which every team has a chance to play itself into the 68-team field, even hundreds who absolutely have not earned it. The conference tournament is already the de facto opening few rounds. Or, if you want to inhale a bit more, the regular season is the true first round, doing most of the weeding-out process over several months.
Obviously, opening up the tournament for more teams gives more teams the incentive to play this year. There are probably bigger things to worry about that letting more kids play meaningful, competitive basketball. But it doesn't make the idea any better or less unintentionally humorous.