The so-called first round of the NCAA Tournament involves eight teams. Sixty teams have a "bye" into the second round. Sound stupid? It is.
It all dates back to a manufactured crisis when the WAC broke into two conferences, the WAC and the Mountain West. For some reason, both conferences got automatic bids. The winners of each conference tournament could've played each other for the sole automatic bid. Or the NCAA could've reduced the number of at large bids by one. These sensible options never occurred to the NCAA.
So we got 65 teams for a few years. The NCAA saw this dreadful play-in game and said, "We want more!" So naturally, all four play-in games feature 16 seeds, right? Wrong!
This year, two 12 seeds play, two 14 seeds, and four 16 seeds. That means in one region, the 12 seeds are playing int he first round while the 13 seed gets a bye. A dare you to find any logic in that. Or how about this? Four 16 seeds have to take part int he play-in games while the other two don't. Why? I have no idea and neither does anyone else.
The "first round" has cheapened the tournament. I used to watch every game religiously until this play-in junk. In fact, it's on right now and I'm writing this post with the 76ers-Pacers game on in the background. Let's get rid of the play-in round.