The Atlantic Coast Conference (ACC) voted Thursday to propose legislation that would expand the NCAA tournament field from 68 to 72 teams, The News & Observer reported.
Speaking to the media Thursday at the conclusion of the conference’s spring meetings in Amelia Island, Florida, ACC commissioner John Swofford said the men’s basketball coaches all backed the idea, suggesting it would create more postseason opportunities for football teams compared to basketball teams.
“The idea of having two First Fours, if you will, maybe geographic,” Swofford told reporters in Florida. “That’s such a quick turnaround. You could have one maybe in Dayton and one in the western part of the states. But we will be proposing that.”
University of Miami basketball coach Jim Larranaga noted that expansion could also address the yearly controversy surrounding bubble teams that were left out of the tournament field, but probably deserved invites.
“There are always bubble teams that could have and should have been invited that could go on a big run that don’t get invited,” Larranaga said. “… Sixty-eight of 351 Division I teams make the field. That’s 19 percent of the teams. Seventy-two teams would make it 20 percent. That is not a huge increase when you compare it to how many football teams make it to a bowl game.”
Swofford reportedly said the conference also voted to propose basketball rule changes that included moving back the 3-point line, widening the lane and resetting the shot clock to 20 seconds after an offensive rebound, as well as football legislation that creates recruiting dead periods in February and July, restricts the spring recruiting period to four out of six weeks, and prohibits verbal offers to prospects before Sept. 1 of their junior year.