ACC coaches vote for new format

Would see every team make NCAA Tournament

written BY JOE CLARK, sports editor
Photo Courtesy of USA Today Sports
ACC Men’s Basketball Coaches voted unanimously on Wednesday to hold an all-inclusive NCAA Tournament. While it would likely to be financial windfall for the NCAA, the format seems unlikely to be implemented.

On Wednesday morning, Stadium’s Jeff Goodman reported that the ACC) men’s basketball head coaches had voted unanimously for an all-inclusive 2021 NCAA men’s basketball tournament that would include every division one team. The basis for the decision comes as teams are looking to avoid non-conference games that would prompt frequent travel, which several ACC coaches would like to avoid due to complications from the COVID-19 pandemic. 

Goodman reported that “One of the big questions that came up on the ACC call today was ‘who is actually making the decisions at the NCAA with college basketball and the NCAA tournament?’” He also reported that an NCAA source told him that the tournament was more likely to shrink to 32 teams than expand. 

Wake Forest head coach Steve Forbes, who will be entering his first year at the school, released a statement on Twitter to express his excitement with the ACC’s vote.

 “I am so proud to stand UNITED with every coach in the ACC in the belief that every Division I college basketball program should be allowed to participate in the NCAA Tournament this year!” Forbes tweeted. “This is what’s best for our student-athletes, fans and the sport of college basketball. It will incentivize everyone that loves and cares about our great sport during these unprecedented times, and it will provide a safe environment for all to participate in. LET’S GET THIS DONE!”

Current Louisville and former Xavier coach Chris Mack also released a statement on Twitter.

“For the last 21 Wednesdays, we as ACC head coaches have been meeting to discuss options for college basketball in 20-21. We are united. The safety of our players is paramount. The ability to incentivize the regular season without mandating a select number of non-conference and conference games provides options and flexibility for all member institutions. As ACC head coaches, we strongly believe it’s in the game’s best interest to have an all-inclusive 2021 NCAA Tournament.”

CBS Sports Seth Davis doesn’t believe an all-inclusive tournament is likely due to Title IX, tweeting “I’m sure everyone understands that if college hoops is going to an all inclusive men’s tourney they need to do the same for the women, right? Or are we suspending Title IX because of the pandemic?”

In a later tweet though, Davis acknowledged the financial aspect of the tournament, writing “There is only one good reason to do an all-in tourney: money. I am not being snarky. The NCAA lost a ton of dough when tourney got cancelled. That is a legit reason, as long as it doesn’t compromise safety. If more teams=more $$ they would have expanded to 96.” 

A decision on college basketball is expected later this month, according to NCAA Senior Vice President of Basketball Dan Gavitt. As of now, the first games are scheduled for November 10, although it’s widely expected that the start of the season will be pushed back by a few weeks. As CBS Sports Jon Rothstein reported last week, the NCAA Men’s and Women’s oversight committee will propose a start date of November 25.