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NCAA Exec: Tournament expansion is not a done deal

Connecticut's Stanley Robinson (21) shoots as St. John's

Connecticut's Stanley Robinson (21) shoots as St. John's Anthony Mason Jr., right, defends during the second half of a first round NCAA college basketball game at the Big East Conference Championships. (March 9, 2010) Photo Credit: AP

NCAA senior vice president Greg Shaheen said no decision has been made about expanding the men's basketball tournament.

"Nothing is a done deal or decided at this point in time," Shaheen told the Associated Press today.

The NCAA had been in discussions with its member institutions about expanding the tournament to 96 teams. In addition to tournament expansion, it has been reported that the NCAA will opt out of its 11-year, $6 billion deal with CBS after this season.  

Earlier this season College Hoops Scoops spoke with both of Long Island's Division I men's basketball coaches about the idea of expanding the tournament to 96 teams.

Stony Brook's Steve Pikiell and Hofstra's Tom Pecora agreed that expanding the tournament would be beneficial to college basketball if it is done the right way. 

"I'd be excited about it, because it would be great for everybodty," said Pikiell. "But will that mean 10 more BCS schools will get in? Will the mid majors get more teams in?" 

The growth of the number of Division I programs alone is reason enough to expand the tournament, according to Pecora. 

"When they put in 64 teams there were 280 Division I programs. 24 percent of the teams were getting in," Pecora said. "They've only added one slot since then. Now only 19 percent of the teams are getting in."  

There are currently 347 Division I basketball programs.

"The tournament has become more difficult to get into," said Pecora, who also suggested the tournament selection committee needs to settle on one selection process.

"The committee is a fluid, changing group of people," he said. "The [selection] formula changes every year. And that needs to be addressed"

Photo credit: AP

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