How to seed a 68-team tournament

In a battle of fairness and entertainment value, choose the former

Updated: April 29, 2010, 11:05 AM ET
By John Gasaway | Basketball Prospectus
NCAA logoBob Donnan/US PresswireListen up, NCAA -- there's a simple answer to the dilemma you've created.

The decision to expand the NCAA tournament field to 68 teams for 2011 has been hailed as a pleasant surprise. College hoops fans had been filled with something resembling terror in thinking the field might expand to 96 squads.

Nevertheless, we still need to know something important, and we need to know it now: How, exactly, will a 68-team bracket work? The NCAA has said a decision won't be made until this summer. With each region now hosting 17 teams, there will have to be four "play-in" games in place to whittle the field down in advance of a 64-team "first" round. The question at hand is which eight teams should get slotted in the play-in round.

In advance of the NCAA's answer to that question, I'm here to offer a simple and admittedly unsurprising proposal.