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Good point, especially if the NCAA continues to give auto-bids to regular season champs to the NIT, which isn't terrible...

Though to clarify, this year some additional teams did not qualify for their conference tournaments: (http://www.timlemkesports.com/home/2010/03/why-conference-tournaments-are-great.html)
America East : Binghamton (school decision)
Atlantic Sun: the bottom 3 teams - Stetson, Florida Gulf Coast, South Carolina Upstate
Big Sky: the bottom 3 teams - Eastern Washington, Sacramento State, Idaho State
Big South: the bottom 2 teams - Gardner-Webb & Presbyterian
Big West: the bottom 1 teams - UC-Riverside
Summit: the bottom 2 teams - Centenary, Southern Utah
MEAC: Winston-Salem State (school decided to drop back to D-2)
Ohio Valley: the bottom 2 teams - Southeastern Missouri, UT-Martin
Pac-10: USC (school decision)
Southland: the bottom 4 teams - Lamar, McNeese State, Northwestern State, Central Arkansas
SWAC: the bottom 2 teams - Alcorn State, Southern
WAC: the bottom 1 teams - Hawaii


Thanks for pointing out the additional excluded teams...I had a feeling there might be more. Must not have examined the conference tourney brackets closely enough.

Bob Lemke


If the NCAA expanded the tournament to 96, LaSalle still would never get in.



I believe that conference tournaments actually hurt interest in the sport. Since automatic bids come from the tournament instead of conference play, people are losing interest in the regular season. In the past, we didn't have much interest in the pre conference games that teams played, because most of these were just preparation games for the more important conference games. The fans came out for the conference games. With the tournaments getting the bids, the conference games are starting to look more like just preparation games for the conference tournaments. This will hurt the attendence and interest in the conference season. Plus since most conference tournaments are held outside of the travel range of most college students, the conference tournaments won't draw nearly the interest that the conference competition could draw. We might have a nice huge all inclusive championship at the end, but hardly anyone will be able to really go to these games, and interest won't be as high as if you had a season to build fan interest through an important conference season.
Inclusive playoffs and tournaments mean nothing. It is rare for a bad team to do anything, and when they do, everyone complains that they just had a lucky streak. No one will respect the NCAA if an undeserving team happens to pull out a tournament win.

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