Donovan makes case for larger NCAA tourney

By Adam Silverstein
March 2, 2010

Florida Gators head coach Billy Donovan makes a case for a larger NCAA Tournament, as told to Sports Illustrated’s Andy Staples:

I’ve always liked the idea of an expanded NCAA tournament. A lot of coaches feel that way. Why? Most importantly, it should expand for the players.

I think it’s difficult for a player to go through college and never get a chance to play in an NCAA tournament. […] If it’s supposed to be about these kids, and you’re saying that the NCAA tournament is the biggest sporting event in our country, why would you not want to have more kids participate.

It also should expand because everyone is being evaluated on what happens in March. Coaches are judged on whether their team makes the tournament and what their team does in the tournament, even though tournament performance can sometimes be misleading. […]

When you’re dealing with a single-elimination situation, anything can happen. The average fan really doesn’t follow the season. The mainstream fan just says “March is the only thing that matters. Everything else doesn’t make a difference.” […]

Anything can happen in a one-and-done. I even made a comment when we won the national championship in 2006. I said if we’d started the tournament over, we might not be standing up there. But that’s also what makes it so great. It’s like the lottery. You’ve got to be in it to win it. The more pieces you have, the more talent you have, the more chemistry you have, your odds of winning go up. […]

What the country loves about the tournament are upsets and Cinderella. Immediately, when the brackets are done, the first thing that’s said is, “Who’s on upset alert?” They want to see upsets. […]

Donovan’s argument for an expanded NCAA Tournament field is much more involved than the snippets we posted here on OGGOA. Read the entire thing over at


  1. OrangeHulk says:

    I think just like everything else in America people don’t want to earn it they just want to given everything. Keep it 65 and it will be something to work for as a player and a coach. Double the field and then you might as well not have a regular season because even if your 50/50 for the year your still can land that much coveted #29 seed.

  2. Mr2Bits says:

    Well shit, when he hasn’t made it for the last three years, I’d be all for expanding it as well. Bet if you asked him in 06 he’d look at you like you had 3 eyes. What’s next, they going to ask the Mountain West if they want a football playoff?

  3. Drew 4 Orange & Blue says:

    Win you conference tourney and your in no matter how poor of a year you had…so just look at your conference tourney as the big dance starting early and everyone is in!! The field is plenty big enough.

  4. Mark01 says:

    Does anyone think this is a good idea except for college coaches? I would want an expanded field too if I my success was judged on making it every year.

    Good Point Drew

  5. ReptilesRule says:

    I’d rather scale it back rather than expand it.

  6. Mr2Bits says:

    I bet Billy D wants to expand after losing tonight

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