Conference tournaments are starting this week in college basketball. They let these tournaments determine who gets an automatic bid in the NCAA tournament. I can’t believe they do that. It throws away the entire regular season for a lot of conferences and teams. One loss can mean a postseason in a lesser tournament or at home.
I get that it creates buzz and television money for the tournament. If they insist on having tournaments, then the NCAA should step in. They should not let every team play in their conference tournaments. Let only the top half of the conference take part. That way the regular season still has meaning.
There were a ton of upsets in the conference brackets last year in the NCAA. I guess this gives the smaller conferences a chance to get more teams in the tournament. The winner gets an automatic bid. So, a lower team that upsets the conference leader could be enough to get both teams in. This waters down the tournament.
Last year an awful Holy Cross team won their conference tournament. They finished the regular season second to last in their conference. For a team to qualify for their conference tournament, they should have to finish in the top half of their respective conference. That way, if a conference has more teams the rules are consistent. The NCAA needs to step in and stop a bottom feeder from lucking into the tournament.
This creates a better experience for fans that have no rooting interest. Cinderella teams that make the tournament will have a legitimate chance at advancing. There will be fewer teams in the tournament that do not belong. As the NCAA tournament keeps expanding, the time for the NCAA to step in and rule on conference tournaments is now.