Thus Begins Championship Fortnight…Posted by rtmsf on March 2nd, 2010
You know why we don’t need NCAA Tournament expansion to 96 teams? The are a lot of other good reasons, but the simplest reason is that we already have it. In fact, about 300 of the 347 Division I teams have an opportunity starting tonight to ‘play their way into’ the NCAA Tournament. It’s easy — survive and advance. As long as you win, you’re still alive. And if you win three or four games in (mostly) consecutive days, you’ll see Greg Gumbel reading your name off the Big Board on Selection Sunday. Keep winning beyond that and suddenly you’re channeling NC State circa 1983.
There will be thirty conference tournaments played from coast to coast (and all points in-between) in the coming days, with the Big South, Ohio Valley and Horizon all starting postseason action tonight. The Atlantic Sun and Patriot will get going tomorrow, and by Saturday night, we’ll have already crowned the first three automatic bids. Twenty-seven more (plus the Ivy) will be decided over the course of the following week of play. It seems like a lot to keep up with (and it is), which is why we’ve come up with an internal tracking matrix (below) that we’re happy to share with everyone.
During our nightly ATBs, we’ll be keeping you updated as well, but here’s the high-level view of the world. Strap in folks, because March is here!