If the ACC coaches get their way, the 2021 NCAA Tournament will be historic with 346 teams making the field.
The ACC coaches met this morning and proposed an all-inclusive 2021 NCAA Tournament, with every Division-I team qualifying.
Per Sports Illustrated’s Pat Forde, “the plan would turn conference championship week into the opening round of the Big Dance. From there the field is reduced to 64-68 by the following week.”
The first ACC coaches to publicly comment on this unprecedented move were Wake Forest’s Steve Forbes and Louisville’s Chris Mack.
— Chris Mack (@CoachChrisMack) September 9, 2020
Wake Forest coach Steve Forbes releases a statement regarding the ACC's plan for every Division-I team to play in the NCAA tournament. https://t.co/0xDBGLMjqI
— Jeff Borzello (@jeffborzello) September 9, 2020
As you would imagine, such a radical proposal is being met with opposition, as some view this as devaluing a great event.
No reason to devalue the product @theACC. There would be no conference tournaments if everyone was in the field. You would also be devaluing television contracts for the regular season with ESPN, CBS, Fox, BTN, Pac-12, SEC Network, ACC Network and more. Earn postseason. Merit!
— Andy Katz (@TheAndyKatz) September 9, 2020
There’s also naïveté to think CBS or others will pay 5x (or some crazy multiple) just because the tournament is 5x as big. TV Networks are struggling in the pandemic, just like everyone else. https://t.co/SJ5xpJ5xdH
— Pete Thamel (@PeteThamel) September 9, 2020
The Stadium’s Jeff Goodman is reporting that Duke’s Mike Krzyzewski was one of the main figures spearheading this idea.
UPDATE (12:44 PM)-
— Jeff Capel (@jeffcapel) September 9, 2020