By Jimmy Hyams
An NCAA Committee recently recommended expanding the men’s basketball tournament field from 68 teams to 90.
Many members of the media and coaches have criticized the suggestion, saying 68 is plenty and that 90 would further dilute the importance of the regular season.
But Tennessee athletics director Danny White sees merit to expansion.
“I’ll harken back to my days as an athletic director at Mid-American Conference (Buffalo),’’ White said in an interview recently on SportsTalk, WNML radio. “There are so many conferences like that one that are one-bid leagues.
“You have these Universities, the best thing they can be a part of is the NCAA Tournament experience and potential run in the NCAA Tournament and the value that has for their alumni. In a one-bid league, for a lot of those schools, it might happen once every 10 to 20 years.
“So probably out of the interest of the whole country and everyone that participates in Division I, I see it as a healthy thing.’’
At Tennessee, White said, the parameters are different from a mid-major.
“Hopefully, we’re competing for high seeds and competing for SEC and national championships,’’ White said. “So it’s not as important to us selfishly. But I do think It’s a positive conversation to be having for all of college basketball.’’