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March Isn't Mad Enough? How About A 65-Team NCAA Field?
By: UCLA Athletics

July 19, 2000

INDIANAPOLIS (AP) - The field for the NCAA men's basketball tournament will expand by one next season with an "opening-round" game the Tuesday before the first round begins.

The NCAA, which confirmed the 65-team field Tuesday, said the winner of the game between two of the lower-ranked conferences will move into the brackets as a No. 16 seed.

The tournament field is expanding because 31 conferences will receive automatic bids next year, two more than last season. The committee always selects at least 34 at-large teams.

The additional automatic bids will go to the year-old Mountain West Conference and the Western Athletic Conference, which didn't have one last season after eight members left to form the Mountain West.

The Division I Men's Basketball Committee is recommending the opening-round game be played on Tuesday, March 13, at the University of Dayton Arena, which is a host site for first- and second-round games. Then again, that team might have to play somewhere else.

"They could play at Dayton," NCAA spokesman Bill Hancock said. "They will be seeded into line No. 16 and if, on selection Sunday, the committee believes that the No. 1 seed should be assigned to Dayton to play No. 16, then that team could stay in Dayton."

The NCAA's Division I Championships/Competition Cabinet will decide Aug. 3 whether to adopt the recommendation.

The 65-team field will be a first, but it won't be the first time the NCAA has given more than 64 teams a shot at the championship. In 1991, 33 conference champions received automatic bids and six of the teams competed in three play-in games. Those three winners joined 61 other teams in the tournament field.

Craig Thompson, the Mountain West commissioner, chaired the basketball committee.

"We want to do everything we can to ensure that the student-athletes who compete in the opening-round game get the full flavor of participation in this great championship. The University of Dayton has a strong history of drawing tremendous crowds to NCAA tournament competition," Thompson said in a statement.

The NCAA said the teams playing the Tuesday game will be determined on Sunday, March 11, with the remainder of the tournament field. The NCAA will try to assign the Tuesday winner to a site playing host to first-round games on Friday, rather than Thursday. Dayton's first-round games will be played Friday.

"They could stay in Dayton, but they could also move, and that won't be known until selection Sunday," Hancock said.

Both opening-round participants will get a full share of revenue for playing in the tournament, Hancock said.

UCLA Health Sponsor - Event Information
Friday, Nov 13
vs. Monmouth
Los Angeles, CA
L, 81 - 84 (OT)
Sunday, Nov 15
vs. Cal Poly
Los Angeles, CA
W, 88 - 83
Thursday, Nov 19
vs. Pepperdine
Los Angeles, CA
W, 81 - 67
Monday, Nov 23
vs. UNLV
Lahaina, HI
W, 77 - 75
Tuesday, Nov 24
vs. Kansas
Lahaina, HI
L, 73 - 92
Wednesday, Nov 25
vs. Wake Forest
Lahaina, HI
L, 77 - 80
Sunday, Nov 29
vs. CSUN
Los Angeles, CA
W, 77 - 45
Thursday, Dec 03
vs. Kentucky
Los Angeles, CA
W, 87 - 77
Sunday, Dec 06
vs. Long Beach State
Los Angeles, CA
W, 83 - 76
Saturday, Dec 12
at Gonzaga
Spokane, WA
W, 71 - 66
Tuesday, Dec 15
vs. Louisiana-Lafayette
Los Angeles, CA
W, 89 - 80
Saturday, Dec 19
vs. North Carolina
Brooklyn, NY
L, 76 - 89
Tuesday, Dec 22
vs. McNeese State
Los Angeles, CA
W, 67 - 53
Friday, Jan 01
at Washington
Seattle, WA
L, 93 - 96 (2OT)
Sunday, Jan 03
at Washington State
Pullman, WA
L, 78 - 85
Thursday, Jan 07
vs. Arizona
Los Angeles, CA
W, 87 - 84
Saturday, Jan 09
vs. Arizona State
Los Angeles, CA
W, 81 - 74
Wednesday, Jan 13
vs. USC
Los Angeles, CA
L, 75 - 89
Wednesday, Jan 20
at Oregon State
Corvallis, OR
W, 82 - 73
Saturday, Jan 23
at Oregon
Eugene, OR
L, 72 - 86
Thursday, Jan 28
vs. Washington
Los Angeles, CA
L, 84 - 86
Saturday, Jan 30
vs. Washington State
Los Angeles, CA
W, 83 - 50
Thursday, Feb 04
at USC
Los Angeles, CA
L, 61 - 80
Friday, Feb 12 - 6:00 PM PST
at Arizona
Tucson, AZ
Sunday, Feb 14 - 5:30 PM PST
at Arizona State
Tempe, AZ
Thursday, Feb 18 - 7:00 PM PST
vs. Utah
Los Angeles, CA
Saturday, Feb 20 - 8:00 PM PST
vs. Colorado
Los Angeles, CA
Thursday, Feb 25 - 6:00 PM PST
at California
Berkeley, CA
Saturday, Feb 27 - 1:30 PM PST
at Stanford
Stanford, CA
Wednesday, Mar 02 - 6:00 PM PST
vs. Oregon
Los Angeles, CA
Saturday, Mar 05 - 3:30 PM PST
vs. Oregon State
Los Angeles, CA
Wednesday, Mar 09 - All Day PST
vs. 2016 Pac-12 Men's ...
Las Vegas, NV
Thursday, Mar 10 - All Day PST
vs. 2016 Pac-12 Men's ...
Las Vegas, NV
Friday, Mar 11 - 6:00 PM PST
vs. 2016 Pac-12 Men's ...
Las Vegas, NV
Friday, Mar 11 - 8:30 PM PST
vs. 2016 Pac-12 Men's ...
Las Vegas, NV
Saturday, Mar 12 - 7:00 PM PST
vs. 2016 Pac-12 Men's ...
Las Vegas, NV
Tuesday, Mar 15 - All Day PST
vs. NCAA First Four
Dayton, OH
Thursday, Mar 17 - All Day PST
vs. NCAA First Round
Saturday, Mar 19 - All Day PST
vs. NCAA Second Round
Thursday, Mar 24 - All Day PST
vs. NCAA Regional ...
Saturday, Mar 26 - All Day PST
vs. NCAA Regional ...
Saturday, Apr 02 - All Day PST
vs. NCAA National ...
Houston, TX
Monday, Apr 04 - All Day PST
vs. NCAA National ...
Houston, TX