John Clay

John Clay's notes: 65-team tourney is enough in March

Random notes:

■ With the possible exception of a Tiger Woods "Man of the Year" banquet, the worst idea in all of sports right now is the crazy notion being floated about expanding the NCAA basketball tournament to 96 teams.

This is brought to you by the same people responsible for the 12-game football schedule.

And the 102 bowl-game schedule.

Fact is, athletic administrators have played the facilities and salary war games to the point where they have to come up with any way of making money to pay the bills, even if that means subjecting student-athletes to more injuries, or totally watering down the regular season.

With the NCAA basketball tournament, more teams mean less excitement.

■ One argument for an expanded tournament is better job security for the coaches. Yeah, right. But in football, Notre Dame's Charlie Weis achieved bowl-eligibility this season and still got booted out of South Bend. If mediocre teams make the tournament, it lessens the accomplishment.

■ That said, pitting Texas Christian against Boise State in the Fiesta Bowl is reason enough to disband the BCS right there.

■ Heard Rick Reilly say Tiger might sit out a year before returning to golf. I can't see that happening. The prediction here is, he'll be on the first tee at the Masters.

■ That said, Tiger has to do some sort of mea culpa, via Oprah or Larry King or 60 Minutes, before his first tournament, or the scene will be an absolute zoo.

■ Colin Cowherd's show Wednesday was taking suggestions on a new name for an expanded Big Ten. My favorite: "The Big Slow." Second favorite: "Twelve Angry Underachievers."

■ The argument for the Big Ten taking Rutgers is that it delivers the New York market. But I thought New Yorkers didn't care about college football. Still, I agree that the Scarlet Knights might be the best bet.

■ Speaking of New York, John Calipari says he has been approached about Kentucky making an annual trip to Madison Square Garden. The local season-ticket holders might howl, but it's an idea with merit. It's sure to be high exposure to high-impact recruits.

■ Brian Kelly is just the guy to bring Notre Dame back. He has something Charlie Weis lacked. A personality.

■ Clemson sold just 4,000 tickets to the Music City Bowl in the first week. Sounds like the Tigers are just all fired up about returning to Nashville.

■ I do believe the Music City Bowl will be the first time in history Kentucky has played a football team coached by someone named Dabo.

■ Adrian Wojnarowski of Yahoo Sports floated the idea that Calipari could end up coaching LeBron James in the pros, at least down the road. (A) I can't see Cal in Cleveland. (B) Why take a demotion to the New York Knicks?

■ When asked about one-and-dones Saturday, Tom Crean first said he didn't see his program taking many. By the end of his answer, however, the Indiana coach was all but saying bring them on. He was thinking about John Wall.

■ They honored the top 10 college basketball moments at Madison Square Garden during a halftime ceremony last week. But the person who received the biggest ovation was not a New Yorker. It was Oscar Robertson.

■ Cris Collinsworth is the best.

■ Funny that the Cincinnati Bengals have carved out a niche that wins in the AFC North, great defense and a strong running game. One loss at 11-2 Minnesota, and critics harp on the Bengals' need to throw the ball better. Make up your mind.

■ I guess Roy Williams' heave of an opposing fan who tried to disrupt a North Carolina free-throw shooter is just part of the Carolina Way.

■ Did you know: Mississippi is the Southeastern Conference team that ranks highest in the Sagarin computer ratings for basketball? Andy Kennedy's Rebels are 10th. Their only loss is to Villanova. Tennessee is 13th, UK 15th.

■ Sorry, but it's not good for baseball when the off-season news is all about the Yankees, Red Sox and Phillies improving their rosters. Compare that to the NFL, where with three weeks to go, 21 of the 32 teams have a chance of making the playoffs.

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