March Madness expansion discussed by NCAA, no deal imminent


INDIANAPOLIS (AP) — The NCAA Division I men’s basketball committee discussed possible expansion of March Madness at its meetings this past week, but said no moves were imminent to increase the field beyond the current 68 teams.

“Whether the tournament expands or not remains to be seen,” sad Dan Gavitt, the NCAA’s senior vice president of basketball.

Earlier this year, the NCAA Division I board of directors approved recommendations by the DI transformation committee that included allowing one quarter of teams in bigger sports to compete in championship events.

That could mean expanding the fields in both men’s and women’s basketball up to 90 teams.

There are many in the sport who believe the 68-team fields and three weekends of play are ideal.

In 2016, the NCAA signed an eight-year extension of its TV deal for $8.8 billion that now runs through 2032.

Gavitt said the men’s basketball committee is “studying options and gathering feedback from various constituents” about possible expansion.

“The committee must be good stewards for the Division I Men’s Basketball Championship,” he said. “They are committed to doing their due diligence looking at a few different models to make an informed decision that’s in the best interests of the championship, and that may very well include deciding against expansion.”

Also at its three-day meeting, the committee selected North Carolina athletic director Bubba Cunningham as vice-chair.

Cunningham will take over as chair in 2024-25 for Southwestern Athletic Conference commissioner Charles McClelland.

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