ACC Wants NCAA Tournament Expanded

The Atlantic Coast Conference, better known as the ACC, is going to attempt to change college basketball. One of the premier conferences for college hoops, the ACC will propose a handful of new rule changes to the National Collegiate Athletic Association.

The most significant proposal regards the NCAA tournament. One of the most watched events of the year, the NCAA tournament features 68 teams in a single elimination bracket. The ACC wants to change that.

ACC Proposes Tournament Expansion, Other Rule Changes

Conference commissioner John Swofford says his conference will pitch a move to 72 teams. In the current format, eight teams compete in a round of opening games called the First Four. These games consist of the last four at-large teams and the four weakest conference champions, according to the selection committee.

The ACC’s 72 model would double the First Four, putting one on the West Coast and one in the usual Dayton location.

Having four additional berths may give smaller schools a better chance to make the field. Most years teams from small conferences boast great records but miss the big dance. With four more berths, however, they may be room for a few more “Cinderella”s at the ball.

Swofford says the conference will offer up several changes to the way games are played as well.

First, they will propose moving the three-point line. The three-point shot is the favorite scoring option for most players these days. That style takes away from inside play in the post, however. The conference believes moving the line back will help rejuvenate interior game.

Additionally, an alteration to the shot clock is on the table as well. The ACC’s idea will have the shot clock reset to 20 seconds following an offensive rebound. The current rule, though, gives teams a full 30 seconds in that scenario.

Finally, the conference will suggest widening the lane, otherwise known as the paint. Making the section larger would force teams to spread out the floor. Players cannot occupy the area for more than three seconds at a time without incurring a whistle. This change would force post players further from the basket, creating more driving opportunities.