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Basketball: NCAA Tournament likely to expand next year — to 68 teams, not 96

Big news — and very good news — today from the NCAA, which announced it plans to expand the NCAA Tournament next season to 68 teams, adding three spots. That follows weeks of speculation that the event’s current format — which brought us such a dynamite tournament this season — would be exploded in favor of a 96-team bracket.

The plan will voted on April 29 by the NCAA Board of Directors, but it sounds likely to happen and comes in conjunction with the announcement that the NCAA has signed a new 14-year, $10.8 billion deal with CBS and Turner Broadcasting that will allow every tournament game to be telecast next year for the first time.

The exact look of the new 68-team bracket is not expected to be unveiled until this summer. However it looks, this is a FAR better alternative to simply opening up the gates and letting everyone in. Ninety-six teams is too many.

The NCAA doesn’t always do the right thing, but saving its best event — perhaps THE best sporting event in the country — from ruin is a smart move. Hooray.

Here’s the full story with all the details.

Jeff Faraudo