Wilbon and Kornheiser were discussing the merits of confernce tournaments in the grand scheme of things–the NCAA Tournament namely. Kornheiser pointed out (Tony Kornheiser and Mike Wilbon of ESPN's talk show Pardon the Interruption) that the Syracuses and others don't need the conference tournaments. I agree with that. Syracuse, Kansas and Kentucky are probably going to be number one seeds regardless. Bobby Knight said if you're a one, two or three seed it doesn't matter. I don't know if I agree with that totally because as a one seed you're matched up against an inferior opponent, so you have a lot better chance of winning. As the two seed you wouldn't face the one seed until the round of eight. So I think seeding is significant. But look at Duke. They want to get a one seed over Ohio State. They need to get to the finals of their tourney and maybe win it. If both they and Ohio State win their tourneys, I think Duke gets the nod. Ohio State wants the same thing. So there is a lot of significance there to a lot of teams. Vandy is trying to get as high a seed as possible. Again, the higher the seed you get the better chance you have of winning your first two rounds because you're playing inferior competition in those rounds if you're a two or three seed compared to a five seed or a six seed for example. Then you get to the Sweet 16 and you've got a shot at doing something special.
Beyond that, isn't the point of any game to win it? Doesn't every team want to win every game they play in? I have gotten into tennis and have played with somebody comparable to me who I've beaten more than he's beaten me. But I want to win every time out. I play the club pro and although he's played a lot longer and more consistently than I have, I still want to take him down. I know it's probably not possible–he beats me every time– but I want to win. Doesn't every team want that? What team wants to go into their next game fresh off a loss. Maybe it doesn't matter to some teams, but if you're a competitor you want to win every time out. At least that's my understanding of competition.
Now if they are going to expand the NCAA field to 96 teams like they are talking about, I would be a huge proponent of getting rid of the conference tournaments. That would just water it down totally and take the fun out of March. I hope the NCAA doesn't expand to 96 teams, but if they do, they need to get rid of the conference tourneys and make the regular season really count.