96 teams is lose for everyone....
- You make the dance, it's "everyone makes the dance"
- You don't it's "come on, everyone makes the dance!"
- The regular season will be diminished
- Cinderella has to play an extra game, and win another game to make the Sweet 16.
- The teams who AREN'T getting in and deserve to, are going to get in... but so will tons of teams who DON'T deserve to get in (cough, BCS teams finishing 6th-10th).
- The mid-majors revenue shares go down, as the pie is sliced more ways.
- The committee is basically going to control who gets TWO shares (byes) and who gets one... which is going to screw over the 9-seeds.
- The seeding is going to be way more important than in years past. Not to mention the amount of stuff that will slip through the cracks when the committee realizes a 96-team bracket takes longer to complete than a 64/65-team.
- We'll get tons of stupid re-matches between conference teams in the round of 32. You'll have to, because 10 teams will be getting in from the Big East, ACC and Big 12.
- There will be fewer upsets, since the teams with byes will have more time to prepare, and be fresher (unless they are Big East teams, double-bye much?)
If you're going to expand beyond 64, expand to a full 128.
Give automatic bids to regular season AND tourney champions. That's a maximum of 61 autos and 67 at-larges.
- It keeps teams playing the same number of games.
- It eliminates the argument of "who's the last team in? 22-9 Stonybrook, who WON the AmEast regular season (#142 RPI) or a 16-16 UNC team that finished 10th in the ACC?"
- It keeps the #1 seeds playing worse teams in the Round of 64 than other seeds. If you've got #20 Houston vs #12 Utah State, and Houston wins... #5 Texas A&M is playing a #20 seed, and #1 Duke is playing #16 VCU. Not really fair to the #1 seeds.
I hate that idea. The conference tournaments are the problem. I find no reason to give (2) undeserving teams bids. If Kennesaw St wins the A-sun regular season at 15-14 and North Florida at 10-19 wins the conference tournament, then both would get in over a 19-11 Mississippi St. team that say beat power seed teams Florida, LSU and Alabama in a given year.
It's got to be 1 of the other: either give the bid to the conference champs or the tourney champs.
A better plan for the conferences are to ALL go down the path that the WCC has set, along with the Big East. Give the top 2 seeds in the conference tourney byes through the semi-finals. That's the reward for finishing at the top of the conference. Teams 3 and 4 get byes to the quarter finals as a reward. That was you are protecting your top teams and increasing the chances that the best of the best get in.
If you reward conference like the A-Sun with 2 bids, it means the conference champ could throw the conference tourney and rest it's players since they'd know they'd be in already.