As usual, there will be a play-in game between 2 lower tier automatic qualifying teams for a final spot in the NCAA Tournament as a 16 seed. This season, however, the NCAA has chosen to include 3 more teams into the tournament that normally would have been on the outside looking in.
So this year, there will be a total of 4 play-in games instead of 1, but the strange thing is, 2 games will be for #16 seeds, the other 2 will be for a #11 and a #12 seed. This just doesn’t make sense to me.
I understand that the 3 extra spots are at-large bids that normally would not be given so they should have to play their way in to the tournament. Well, if that’s the case, how come the last 2 #10 seeds to get in, under the old rules, don’t have to play their way in and 2 bottom tier auto-qualifiers from the Big Sky or the Sun Belt do?
So, what I think they should have done is to take the teams that normally would be #16 seeds and have them play against the (would be) #15 seeds for the last 4 spots as the #16 seeds and the new at-larges just take their spots as #11 seeds and everyone else slides down.
This way, the #11 seed that normally would have made the cut last year isn’t penalized by having to play another at-large team of equal talent before the tourney even starts.
I’m sure this will be realized and rectified by next season.