ACC Basketball: Coaches pushing plan to make 2021 NCAA Tournament all-inclusive

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ACC basketball coaches are pitching a plan that would extend NCAA Tournament bids to every D1 school for the 2021 version of March Madness.

“Obviously many details still need to be worked out and considered regarding an all-inclusive NCAA Tournament, but the ACC head coaches are united in strongly pursuing this,” UVA coach Tony Bennett said.

The plan, which Bennett said “has the potential to be one of the best feel-good stories in college sports,” would allow schools to avoid having to play non-conference games in the 2020-2021 season, without punishing programs from mid-majors and small conferences that would lose out on opportunities to boost their metrics with games against teams from the power conferences.

“The safety of our players is paramount,” Louisville coach Chris Mack said. “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.”

The NCAA is currently sticking with plans for a 68-team tournament next spring.

The NCAA Division I Council is expected to announce a decision on the format for winter sports, including men’s and women’s basketball, on Sept. 16.

“This is not a regular season. It is clearly an irregular season that will require something different,” Duke coach Mike Krzyzewski said. “Our sport needs to be agile and creative. Most importantly, an all-inclusive postseason tournament will allow a unique and unprecedented opportunity for every team and every student-athlete to compete for a national championship.”

Story by Chris Graham


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