Back in the day, ESPN had this idea to showcase college basketball’s mid-major teams. ESPN would televise games between some of the top smaller Division I schools (and conferences) in a midseason matchup in February.
This was a win-win situation for the schools. Not only would the school receive national television exposure, but with a win, the NCAA tournament selection committee might give the schools more attention for a postseason bid.
Well, like many things in life, the event grew bigger. It also has lost much of the luster of the early years.
The event now features about 70 games. Many of the teams playing in it have losing records. They couldn’t even quality for a church-league tournament let alone a NCAA one.
It may be time to repair the system or retire the thing gracefully. If ESPN wants to continue the affair, I think it should go back to focusing on top teams and fewer games. But if they wish to discontinue it, I am fine with that too. I question whether a win in this event really helps a mid-major team in its quest for the NCAA tournament. There are so many factors put into play these days for a bid, I serious doubt a Bracketbuster win carries much weigh.
That said, I’ll probably tune in tonight for a little Northern Iowa-Virginia Commonwealth on ESPN 2. VCU is an NCAA darling after its run to the NCAA Four last season.