A basketball swooshes through the net Sunday, March 31, 2024, ahead of the Midwest Regional championship game at Little Caesars Arena in Detroit. The Purdue Boilermakers defeated the Tennessee Volunteers to move on to the Final Four game in Phoenix, Arizona.

Possible NCAA Basketball Tournament Expansion

The NCAA officials have officially proposed new models for a possible expansion of the NCAA Tournament.  This would entail the field of play to expand to 72 or 76 total teams. If agreed upon this would be aimed to start at the earliest for the 2025-2026 season.

The NCAA Tournament has seen changes before. Expansions happened back in 1975, 1979, 1985, 2001 and 2011. The original brackets only started with 53 teams.

There have also been changes made to the College Football Playoff setup and allowing more teams in. That will be in place this upcoming football season.

By adding more teams this gives a chance to boost revenue as well as publicity for smaller schools. With many conferences adding teams, this will allow more room for compensation as well as opportunities for teams to advance further in the tournament.


 Big 12 Commissioner Brett Yormark

“It captivates hardcore fans and casual fans for all the right reasons, and you don’t want to mess with something that’s great, but if there are chances and opportunities to modify a little bit, to maybe provide more access, to amplify the experience, to look at it slightly differently, we owe it to ourselves to do that. I’m a firm believer that from time to time, you’ve got to put things through an audit. As great as they might look, it makes sense to do that and go through that exercise,” said Yormark.

“I want to see the best teams competing for a national championship, no different than [the Big Ten and SEC] want to see in football,” he said.

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