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NCAA 68-team format announced


Not that Pitt is likely to be affected in the 2010-11 season by the announcement, but the NCAA men’s basketball committee today revealed the format for the new-look 68-team expanded field.
And it looks like they got it at least partially right.
The new four-game first-round – cleverly named the “First Four” — will consist of the last four at-large teams selected to the field meeting in two games, and the bottom four seeds – conference champions seeded overall No. 65-68 – meeting in two other games. The winners of the four games will advance to the new “second round.”
The schedule and location of the “First Four” games will be announced in the coming weeks.
The at-large games will involve same-seeded teams. For instance, two teams, both seeded No. 12, will play for the right to advance to play the No. 5 seed in its natural progression. The winners of the two first-round games involving No. 65-68 seeds will advance as No. 16 seeds to meet No. 1 seeded teams.
The new format is a compromise for those who didn’t want to see the low-level conference champions wallow in de-facto play-in games, all for the benefit of four middle-of-the-pack, double-digit seeds from a BCS conference.



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