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Question of the day: Did the decision of the NCAA to go to 68 teams in the basketball tournament go far enough or not too far?

April 30, 2010 |  9:12 am


Reporters from around the Tribune family tackle the question of the day, then you get a chance to chime in and tell them why they are wrong.

Shannon Ryan, Chicago Tribune

Imagine that. An organization that is often lambasted for hypocrisy and making decision based on profit did something that fans actually wanted.

Make that demanded.

The NCAA made the right decision in nixing the plot for a 96-team field and instead increasing the tournament by only three teams.

The model that has made March Madness one of the most beloved competitions in sports will remain essentially the same. The only tweak that could make it better would be to follow the model suggested by one ESPN writer to add a pre-tournament game for bubble teams trying to get in.

The NCAA did what the fans wanted.

What’s next? A football playoff?

Updated at 10:47 a.m.

Paul Doyle, Harford Courant

Talk of a 96-team tournament had us all irritated at the NCAA.

So the announcement that the tournament will only expand to 68 teams – for now – has been met with approval. Adding three teams won’t change the dynamic of the tournament and is something we can all live with.

Should the NCAA have used a broader brush? Absolutely not. Expanding to 96 teams would have been a money grab that would have watered down the tournament. The Big Dance should be difficult to reach, not any easier. And while fans and media jump on the underdog train every year, TV ratings show we ultimately want the college basketball brands. Duke, Kansas, Kentucky, etc. are the big draws.

So let’s not dilute one of the great events in sports. Our vote is to leave it alone, but we’ll accept a small expansion.

Photo: Xavier plays Kansas State on March 25. Credit: Steve C. Wilson / Associated Press.