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Bracket fall down, go boom

So your bracket's basically lasagna now, right?

Kansas ... kaput. Georgetown ... outta town. Villanova and New Mexico ... vaya con dios, and old news.

You know what's great about a tournament that will send St. Mary's, Washington and Northern Iowa to the Sweet Sixteen?

It reinforces once again why the people (mostly coaches) pushing a 96-team tournament are complete fools.

We all watch the first weekend of the NCAA tournament because we want to see a Northern Iowa take out a Kansas or an Ohio floor-wax a Georgetown. That's the appeal of it all, right? That's its lifeblood -- and if you don't believe me, you should have been where I was Thursday when Murray State beat Vanderbilt, and heard the place erupt when that final shot dropped for the Racers.

Want to know what happens to those moments if the tournament expands to 96 teams?

They go away.

They go away, because what you'd essentially get is a 32-team play-in tournament, and then the real work would begin. The so-called deadwood would be gone, and only the "legitimate" teams would get to play in the real tournament.

This would also mean Georgetown would likely never wind up playing an Ohio. And the chances of Northern Iowa getting to play a Kansas or St. Mary's a Villanova would be severely reduced. The top seeds would get to escape the prospect of such an embarrassing upset by getting a first-round bye.

And the tournament would, alas, lose much of its charm.

Ben Smith's blog.