how many more automatic bids can the ncaa give out for the ncaa tournament. if the a10 splits , the big east splits, there could be as many as two more basketball conferences. the ncaa will probably have to take away bids from some more of the lesser conferences. it is about time the ncaa steps in and tells these conferences how to realign. they should tell them that they better figure out a way to stay together cause there will be no more automatic bids handed out. they all built their beds now they must sleep in them.
When the last new conference came in (Mountain West) the BIG 6 conferences got together and forced the NCAA to create the play-in game because they did not want to lose one of the 34 at-large berths currently available. When you do the math on this it's because a 10 loss team out of a power conference will get a bid EVERY time over a 3-5 loss team that is champion of their lesser conference but lost in a conference tourney. The dreaded RPI number ALWAYS favors the power conferences.
It would make sense to go to an arrangement of 32 conferences and 32 at large berths. There is a symmetry here. Currently there are only 31 conferences. 32 seems to be an almost critical mass.
The current five year wait to get into a place where a NEW conference would qualify for an auto bid forces lesser schools to look to tag onto a conference. Only the power schools could form a new conference.
In this manner, remnants of a Big East break, C-USA break, or A-10 disintegration would be the only types of schools that could afford to create a new conference.
If you have Marquette, Xavier, DePaul, Georgetown, St.Johns, Villanova, etc. you are not going to need an auto bid because some of your schools are going to qualify on the basis of power. The fear is that the lack of an automatic spot will result in ONE less spot. Unless this fear can be allayed, new conferences will NEVER be developed because of the potential or perceived loss of revenue. Which is why we are where we are with a potential "Gavitt plan" solution to the Big East that helps NOBODY!!! (football or basketball)