TAYLOR: A few thoughts on the NCAA

Just like many of you, I missed a chance at earning a few extra dollars long before the Final Four.

Just like many of you, I missed a chance at earning a few extra dollars long before the Final Four.

Despite leaving the city of Bracketville a few games early, interest in the tournament has remained strong. Although keeping up with sports is what I get paid to do, some events get more attention than others.

The NCAA Tournament ranks at the top of the list. Who can forget Florida's run, or even George Mason's improbable journey? How can anyone not take interest in the tournament after all four of the top seeds were ousted? That's what makes college basketball great. Unlike football, which is a little more predictable, the college game tends to make heads spin this time of year. Who would have thought that UCLA would be winning its games by playing tremendous defense?

What about LSU and Glen "Big Baby" Davis? Even with the absence of Kentucky, on a national scale, it doesn't get any better. Two underdogs fighting for the sport's most prestigious trophy. In a way, Billy Donovan's ties to Kentucky and the SEC can't be ignored.

Expansion? Some college coaches have been talking about expanding the NCAA Tournament beyond the current limit of 64 teams. Although the thought has some merit, why mess with such a good thing?

If anything, the NCAA should look into expanding the NIT and maybe combining the two events in some shape or form, now that the NCAA "owns" both events.

The NIT has room for growth and improvement. Why not start there?

Didn't the NIT seem more interesting this year?

Maybe the NCAA can include ESPN in its next television deal and alternate coverage between the total sports network and CBS. The two networks could in turn have rights to covering both tournaments during March, giving both some exposure on both ends of the spectrum. The women's NCAA Tournament could also be included in the deal.

Humphrey connection: Florida guard Lee Humphrey wasn't recruited by Tennessee, which makes one wonder how coaches miss out on such good talent inside the state?

Humphrey is from Maryville, Tenn., but went to Florida after not getting an offer from his favorite state school.

Catching up on news outside the state during a weekend visit to Pigeon Forge, a story on Humphrey was included in Saturday's Knoxville News-Sentinel.

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