Every year, NCAA March Madness is one of the highlights of the sports calendar with its upsets, drama, and Cinderella Stories. Now, it looks like SEC commissioner Greg Sankey wants to look into revamping the NCAA Tournament, perhaps with plans to expand it.
According to a report from Pat Forde of Sports Illustrated, the SEC commissioner wants to take “a fresh look” at the NCAA men’s basketball tournament, potentially including expansion of the current 68-team field. While Sankey said that he’s “not ready to make headlines there yet,” Sankey is open to changing the NCAA Tournament to include more teams while still not excluding small-conference champions.
While many might not find it necessary to expand the tournament field that already includes 68 teams, Sankey points out that as recently as this year, Mississippi State won the 2022 College World Series baseball championship as the last team in the field of 64.
“If the last team in can win the national championship, and they’re in the 30s or 40s from an RPI or [NCAA] NET standpoint, is our current approach supporting national championship competition?” Sankey asks. “I think there’s health in that conversation. That doesn’t exclude people. It goes to: How do we include people in these annual national celebrations that lead to a national champion?”
While no change to the current NCAA Tournament format is imminent, it’s clear that Sankey is in favor of some changes in the near future.