Friday , Jun , 30 , 2006 C.Y. Ellis

No new dance members: NCAA Tournament expansion not imminent

Indianapolis, IN (Sports Network) – The bubble will still burst for teams
sweating over their NCAA Tournament resumes as the Division I Men’s Basketball
Committee announced Thursday that expansion of the men’s tournament is not in
its immediate plans.

The field will remain at 65 institutions for one of sports greatest events, a
single-elimination tournament built on the mantra of, “One Shining Moment.”
The 10-person committee spent considerable time examining the implications of
expanding the tournament and also reviewed feedback from a variety of
individuals both inside and outside of the membership.

“There is no enthusiasm on the part of the committee to expand the tournament
at this time,” said director of athletics at the University of Virginia and
chair of the men’s basketball committee Craig Littlepage. “In the interest of
sustaining the quality of the tournament, the committee has decided to
maintain the current structure.”

The committee considered information pertaining to the current quality of
competition, logistics, television ratings and the overall popularity of the
event in determining that field will remain at 65 teams.

The idea of expansion gained considerable steam following mid-major George
Mason’s magical run to the Final Four last season. Several coaches, including
Syracuse head coach Jim Boeheim, pointed to the Patriots’ success as an
indication of the parity in college basketball.

The women’s committee also shut down the idea of expansion, as both groups
wanted to keep the two tournaments on similar formats.

The men’s committee made no announcement about whether or not expansion will
be considered in the future.