Never again let me criticize college football for rewarding 70 teams with bowl games. Because college basketball is now doing the same thing. And then some.
This year - this week - March has increased, unprecedented Madness.
Ohio State, Duke, Pittsburgh and Kansas are the No. 1 seeds as the NCAA men's basketball tournament tips off this week. That tournament features 68 teams (11 from the Big East and five from the Big 12 including Texas as No. 4 in the West), will be televised on four networks (CBS, TNT, TBS and, what the what?!, TruTV) and features not only a Final Four April 2 in Houston but also a First Four, with games played Tuesday and Wednesday before Thursday's wall-to-wall hoops.
But wait, order now and there's more!
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The NIT has a 32-team field including Big 12ers Colorado and Nebraska. And, for an added bonus, there's something called the CollegeInsider.com Tournament (CIT) that found 24 more teams to reward with post-season play, including SMU. That's Dallas' own SMU, they of the 8-8 record in Conference USA and season-ending four-game losing streak including a first-round tournament loss to Rice. Yep, the Mustangs will host a teensy tiny slice of Madness Wednesday against Oral Roberts.
That's 68 plus 32 plus another 24. By my sportswriter math that's 124 teams.
UPDATE: Holy ess, I forgot about the much heralded College Basketball Invitational. Make it 140 teams!
And, amazingly just a year after getting this close to the Final Four, none of those teams are named Baylor.