Are the “play-in” games still from the bottom of the seeding? All 4 winners get the 1 seed on Thurs/Fri, right? If that’s the case, it’s only going to steal the spotlight from 3 more low-major conference teams who won’t now get their day in the sun. There won’t be any at-large entries in these games, their seed won’t ever be low enough. Therefore, it’ll be the “little guy” who gets the screws out to them again. It’s also taking 4 of these schools who would have been a 15 seed (and historically a possible W) and force them to win a tough game before playing a 1 seed. It will also dilute the quality in the pool of 12-14 seeds (the bottom seeds of the “last 4 in”) and making those 3-14, 4-13 and 5-12 games have fewer upsets.
As a BU fan, I’m seriously concerned that the Bison could end up in one of those games if they win on Friday. I would find that personally very dissapointing. Go back and read about their game against Kansas… That’s what the tourny is all about for the small schools. They’re taking that away from 4 schools now, and even the winners will not have the same run-up to the big game since they have to play one in-between. Plus, had that been in effect a few years ago, BU would have been one seed lower and had to play a #2 seed which would have been that much more difficult of an upset.
It’s all about getting more power conference teams in the dance so they can take a bigger slice of the pie… I think the “play in” games should all be at large teams. you win your conference’s bid, you’re in the field of 64 and let the others who squeeked in battle it out. Of course, that wouldn’t be good for dear old state, but that’s just how I see it.