NCAA Tournament to Expand—but Only to 68

CBS, Turner Sports get new contract to show the NCAA Tournament.

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Thank God. The NCAA Tournament is expanding, but only by three teams—from 65 to 68. There had been talk about expanding the greatest sporting event on the planet (in Paper Trail's humble opinion) to 96 teams, which would have been as good of an idea as Heidi Montag making music. 

The NCAA, CBS, and Turner Sports agreed to a nearly $11 billion broadcasting contract that will last through the 2024 season, USA Today reports. The deal will allow every game to be broadcast on four channels—CBS, TBS, TNT, and TruTV. (Think about that for a second: Your viewing desires will no longer be controlled by CBS producers and Duke's schedule. You'll actually be able to watch games you want to watch as opposed to watching whatever CBS deems worthy of your viewing.) And it keeps college basketball fans around the world from enduring a ridiculous 96-team tournament, at least for now. 

"This is an important day for intercollegiate athletics and the 400,000 student-athletes who compete in NCAA sports," NCAA Interim President Jim Isch says in the NCAA release. "This agreement will provide on average more than $740 million annually to our conferences and member schools to help student-athletes in 23 sports learn and compete." 

The NCAA Division I Basketball Committee passed the proposal unanimously, ESPN.com reports. The NCAA Board of Directors will review the proposal next week. 

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