Thursday, February 16, 2012

Why Automatic Bids Should Not Be Eliminated - Reaction to Jay Bilas' column

On February 15th, Jay Bilas wrote a column in favor of eliminating automatic bids to the NCAA Tournament.

Jay Bilas writes some form of this column every year. He does it because he thinks the mid-major enthusiasts (I am one myself) view him as a power conference elitist trying to force the mid-majors out of the NCAA Tournament. Then in these columns he essentially says, "Hey look, your precious mid-majors will still be in the tournament! And maybe even more of them!" He's probably right but the whole mid-major argument isn't the part that bothers me. Besides, on his Bilas Index he obviously ranks the teams where he does only to fit his own arguments. The mid-majors are taking care of themselves these days. What Jay Bilas doesn't care about is the low-majors.

For some reason Bilas thinks that because a 1 seed has to play a low-major team in the first round somehow diminishes a championship run. I don't see that at all. He seems to think that having a team like Stanford play Kentucky in the first round instead of a team like Stony Brook automatically fixes that. The 1-16 games are only 4 games of the tournament, so why rob these low major schools of an opportunity for a memory they rightfully earned? I'm all for the 1-16 blow outs if it means I get to watch games like last year's Boston U vs Stony Brook's America East final again. To me that outweighs Boston getting beat down the next week by Kansas. And if you get rid of the automatic bids then what happens to Championship Week? Do conferences stop putting on tournaments? They wouldn't mean anything. What would Boston and Stony Brook have played for last year, a banner? Who's watching that? If you're a college basketball fan and your okay destroying something as great as Championship Week then there is something wrong with you.

Every year a friend and I get together on Selection Sunday and try to accurately predict the bracket and every year it doesn't come down to "I can't believe we left this team out," often times our reaction is "I can't believe we put this team in." So in my eyes, if you can't crack this bracket the way it is now you're probably not more worthwhile than a small school anyway. Leave it alone.

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