Expansion of NCAA men’s tourney ‘not imminent’

The NCAA acknowledged Thursday that it discussed possible expansion of the NCAA tournament at the NCAA Division I Men’s Basketball Committee meeting this week, but the organization also said expanding the field is “not imminent.”

In January, the NCAA Division I transformation committee released a report recommending several changes to college sports, including allowing 25% of teams in sports sponsored by at least 200 schools to compete in annual championship events. For men’s and women’s college basketball, that could potentially mean a move from 68 teams to as many as 90 teams.

The Division I board of directors approved the recommendation later that month.

“The committee must be good stewards for the Division I Men’s Basketball Championship,” said Dan Gavitt, NCAA senior vice president of basketball. “They are committed to doing their due diligence looking at a few different models to make an informed decision that’s in the best interests of the championship, and that may very well include deciding against expansion.”

“The committee and staff will continue studying options and gathering feedback from various constituents,” Gavitt said. “Whether the tournament expands or not remains to be seen.”

The men’s NCAA tournament expanded to 64 teams in 1985, later going to 65 teams in 2001 and 68 teams in 2011.

SWAC commissioner Charles McClelland will chair the committee beginning in September, and North Carolina athletic director Bubba Cunningham was selected as vice chair and will then chair the committee in 2024-25.

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