A bigger bracket has plenty of angles to study
The phone has been ringing off the hook this week, and not because we're looking at a dream (NIT!!) Final Four of UConn, Carolina, Louisville and UCLA. No, everyone is asking about possible NCAA tournament expansion.
So let me lay out my long-standing position(s) on the topic, adding a few more recent thoughts in stream-of-consciousness fashion.
There's more to it than a little more money
The business reasons for considering expansion are being explored by smart people who fully understand the value of their property. You can be darn sure, like any business or property owner, that no one will act rashly to devalue an asset. In other words, a new NCAA tournament pie would have to do much more than exceed that of the current in-season/postseason mix. Any new configuration would have to exceed the combination of all existing revenue streams -- regular season, conference tournaments, current postseason inventory, etc. -- in a projectable manner over the long haul. The opt-out provision of the CBS contact, it seems to me, is merely the first of many mileposts for multiple stakeholders to undertake that conversation. I can't imagine "rash" or "rapid" being the MO here.
Are we excluding a national champion?
To see Joe Lunardi's breakdown of the bigger bracket from a variety of angles, including the impact on top seeds, regular-season title teams and financial considerations, you must be an ESPN Insider.