Breaking down new bracket changes
August, 1, 2013
By Joe Lunardi | ESPN.com
Brian A. Westerholt/Getty ImagesRon Wellman, Division I Men's Basketball Committee chair, instituted changes Thursday afternoon.Division I Men's Basketball Committee chair Ron Wellman announced changes Thursday afternoon to the current bracketing process. Let's take a look at those changes, effective in March 2014, and whether they are going to help or hurt the formation of the tournament bracket.
• There will be 36 at-large teams and 32 automatic qualifiers next year. These changes grant an automatic bid to the champion of the new American Athletic Conference (AAC) and decrease the at-large field by one.
Lunardi's take: This is a negligible and expected item, as the chances the first AAC champion would not be good enough for an at-large bid are remote. But expect some minor howling if there is a true upset winner of the first AAC tournament.