Potentially ending the fun water cooler arguments of the past week or so, the men's and women's basketball committees turned down the National Association of Basketball Coaches proposal to expand the NCAA Tournament to 128 teams.
Big shock there, as it seems that the only people who liked the idea were the members of the NABC. I attempted to outline some reasons that the expansion might be a good thing, only to have a friend of mine exclaim, "I can't believe you'd say anything in favor of that proposal. Oh, and saying it would allow more coaches to keep their jobs is not a legitimate argument."
Well, yeah, it probably wasn't the best argument on the list. If my friend was a coach, however, he'd probably think it was a great idea.
Funny how that works.
There is one lingering argument in favor of expansion that really irks me. The George Mason argument. It's plastered all over the ESPN article declaring the expansion idea dead, at least for the moment. Of all the arguments I heard in favor of expansion, that's the one that made the least sense to me.
I admit, I thought George Mason's run was great. Hell, if you're going to upset UNC in the second round, you might as well get to the Final Four. But are the coaches saying that George Mason's run was so unique that they proved that 63 more teams deserve to get in? Doesn't the fact that they got into the field of 65 prove that they were worthy of a chance to make a Final Four run? Did they not join an already impressive list of teams who won more games than everyone expected them to? Has everyone forgotten that Gonzaga built its reputation by doing just that? Do you think either George Mason or Gonzaga would have made runs as the 128th ranked team in the tournament?
So please. Stop with the George Mason argument. I think it actually insults George Mason more than it defends it.