The NCAA Tournament is three weekends of non-stop college basketball, but Florida State head coach Leonard Hamilton wants more.
At the ACC spring meetings on Tuesday, Hamilton expressed his desire for the tournament field to double from its current size of 68 teams.
“I believe the NCAA tournament is the greatest sporting event in the world. It captivates everybody’s imagination for about three weeks,” Hamilton said, according to ESPN. “Parity has set in. I might be a little ridiculous when I make this comment, but I think you could double it. You’re already playing in Dayton on two nights. So, in two days, you’re back to the same number. So, you already got the dates. You’ve just got to figure out how to play them at different sites. Maybe that might be a little aggressive. Some people think 96 is the number. Personally, I think you need to double the tournament.
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“I think it’s time to expand. I think it’s time to have that conversation for the men and women.”
Just five teams from the ACC heard their names called on Selection Sunday in March, with Blue Blood North Carolina becoming the first preseason No. 1 to miss the tournament since 1985.
The Tar Heels took Kansas down to the wire in the 2022 national championship game but went 11-9 in conference before losing to Virginia in the ACC Tournament.
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ACC coaches pointed to the narrative that when North Carolina or Duke are having down years, the perception is that the league as a whole is down.
“At the end of the day, if you go back and do your statistical analysis and look at what has happened the last 10 years, in the Elite Eight and the Final Four, the ACC is always well represented,” Hamilton said. “I don’t think enough respect has been given to the fact that the pillars of our league have allowed the Miamis, the Florida States, the Clemsons, to be pulled up to the point where it’s more competitive in our league now than it has ever been.
“That should be celebrated and embraced, but it’s almost like now as the other teams benefit from the top teams pulling it up, that becomes a detriment. Because some teams aren’t as successful, the message is like maybe the ACC is not quite as good. That’s not true.”
In January, the NCAA transformation committee said the NCAA should consider expanding its brackets in order to include 25% of teams in each sport.
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