Jay Bilas on NCAA Tournament expansion, via College GameDay.

Here we are going through yet another cycle of discussion around a potential NCAA Tournament expansion from 68 teams to an impossibly bloated 96 teams. The NCAA Tournament is one of the most perfect events in all of sports, so of course the NCAA is looking for a way to screw it up, even as the institution is seeing its relevancy and governance over college athletics evaporate by the minute.

New NCAA President Charlie Baker has floated the idea and said the organization is studying the concept. Baker has argued for “expanding access” to more teams to make it seem like an equality issue, which is a strange idea since every team already has access through conference tournaments. Ironically, that’s exactly the problem with college football – try telling UTEP they have a fair chance at a national title.

As the College GameDay crew discussed the idea, each panelist had their opportunity to speak out. Andraya Carter was against it, Jay Williams and Seth Greenberg argued for the idea… to groans and boos from the crowd sharing what most common sense individuals believe about it. Greenberg even argued that there are too many good teams left out, which seems like an absurd thing to say given projections would have 14-13 Maryland at 12th in the Big Ten making it into a 96 team field.

And then it was Jay Bilas’ turn. And like usual, he was able to drop the hammer on the NCAA.

“Never underestimate the NCAA’s capacity to do something stupid,” Bilas said to cheers from the crowd. “And if they did this it would be profoundly stupid. When anyone says more teams need access to the tournament, every team has the same access to the tournament now. All you have to do is win your conference automatic bid which is against your peers with a group of teams that you have chosen to be among.”

“What are we going to do now? We’re going to go to 96 and we’re going to print the bracket out first on legal paper then on a roll of toilet paper and just roll it out. It doesn’t make any sense.” Bilas exclaimed.

Every sport has seemingly expanded their playoffs incrementally because it allows leagues to produce more revenue and keep more teams relevant for longer in the season. It’s happened in all four of the major pro sports – the NFL and MLB have added Wild Card spots while the NHL and NBA have added a play-in tournament for the final playoff teams.

But none of those ideas compare to the concept of a 96 team March Madness, which would be akin to taking a paintball gun to the Mona Lisa of sporting events. But as Bilas said, if it’s a terrible idea that will make everything worse, don’t doubt the NCAA’s ability to come through in the clutch.

[College GameDay]