There are pluses and minuses here.
While college basketball is largely still controlled by a small collection of bluebloods, its postseason is increasingly a crapshoot dictated by matchups and hot streaks. That provides a ton of entertainment in the lead-up to crowning a champion, of course. But it doesn’t necessarily do the best job of deciding the best team every year.
On the other hand, college football is the exact opposite than March Madness games. The four-team College Football Playoff has featured a lot of one-sided matchups and minimal entertainment value beyond the immediate fan bases involved — but it DOES result in a true champion being crowned, and one that you could conceivably refer to as the best team in the sport when the dust settles.
SB Nation’s Rock Chalk Talk (Kansas blog) took a look at what college basketball would look like if its structure more resembled the latter over the years. They look specifically at how many “Final Fours” the Jayhawks would’ve participated in had the tournament only featured one-seeds. But they also look at the other teams that would’ve been involved in those years.
Syracuse has been a one-seed three separate times — 1980, 2010, 2012 — and has never made the Final Four in any of those seasons. Having just four teams in the event would provide redemption opportunities for those squads. However, it would greatly diminish the number of Final Fours the Orange have participated in (six total), and wiped the 2003 title from the ledger.
For as much as the straightforward postseason sounds nice, think we’d rather get the random chance to spring the zone on unassuming coaches and maybe make a run, no?
That, plus the rest of your Syracuse-related links below:
What if college basketball had a 4-team playoff? (Rock Chalk Talk)
Unfortunately, that’s just the way it is, and apparently the powers-that-be don’t want to make even more money with a larger field, which to me is even more silly, but more on this later. Let’s look at the NCAA Tournament through the lens of college football, using our optical zoom feature to focus in on the Kansas Jayhawks. Yes, I know there are 350+ D1 basketball programs as opposed to 130+ D1 football programs, but we’re just going to pretend that doesn’t really matter.