March 14, 2007

What’s the point?

by Dan Bilicki In: Basketball

Yesterday, Niagara best Florida A&M in the NCAA’s play-in game by a score of 77-69. While I did learn the actual reason for having this play-in game yesterday, it still seems very unfair to the participants, even if they are the two of the worst teams in the tournament.

Firstly, the NCAA added the play-in game because after another conference joined the fray, they had to add another automatic bid and, instead of taking away an at-large bid (which could be given to a better team from a big conference), they just upped the field to 65 teams.

While the play-in game seems harmless enough, most people forget that there’s already another tournament going on for the teams that didn’t make the big dance: The NIT. While it is a second-string tournament, shouldn’t the team losing the play-in get some sort of consolation prize and receive a high seed in the NIT considering they would theoretically be the best team in that tournament? But that argument might lead to a team throwing the play-in game to get a high seed and at least on home game in the NIT as opposed to facing off against the nation’s best team a few days later.

The only issue that that practically no one will argue is that the play-in game is next to pointless. Still, I applaud you Niagara; have fun against Kansas

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