The latest projection of the NCAA tournament by The Sporting News is out, and, similar to others, and despite cries of incredulity by many who cover the Pac-10, it continues to look like the WCAC, the Mt. West, and even the Colonial Conference has eclipsed the Pac. Those leagues all project to have multiple entries into the NCAA tournament, while only Cal appears on SN projected list. Worse, only ASU from the conference is in the bubble list.
So there should be plenty of Pac-10 teams available to fill out the NIT and CBI brackets, and any other extra game gigs thrown together. (Perhaps we need the Dickson Rec. Tournament?)
Just as interesting, this could be the last of the big years for these extra tournaments, if CBS and Turner Broadcasting (yes, those guys are in the mix in college hoops now), and the NCAA decide they want more of the dollars.
Here's an interesting read from SN on an RFP the NCAA has out, that could lead to them vacating their current lucrative contract, and equally important, possibly expanding the NCAA tournament to 96 teams.
As the story indicates, ESPN/ABC and Fox, and maybe others, may have some dollars to throws around before things are sorted out. It would be a landmark development, obviously, if the NCAA expands to 96 teams (68 wouldn't be anything but a blip for the mid/minor majors). But the prospect of Turner, long an NBA channel, but not a player in college hoops, and not an impressive one as far as historic football coverage, jumping largely into the college game could be a big deal, especially as a variety of pre/regular season contracts are coming up for negotiation, and not just by the Pac-10.
Note also there are other sports bundled in this process, not just basketball. Notice especially the mention of baseball in the same story as Turner broadcasting.
Are you ready for some high stakes business deals involving your viewing experience?