The First Four took a little getting used to for those of us who remember when the tourney was a perfectly balanced 64 teams. Even so, the fact that it was hosted at the University of Dayton year-in and year-out helped give it a certain cachet and familiarity.
Dayton, of course, would love to keep the games in their hands as long as possible. Last year, they not only had the First Four, but were allowed to subsequently host second and third round games – quite a windfall.
The NCAA might have other ideas, according to Dayton’s WDTN TV:
The University of Dayton submitted a proposal, that if accepted, would have kept the tournament in Dayton beyond 2015.
That proposal was declined, according to Dave Worlock, director of media relations with the NCAA, and Dayton First Four organizers were told they had to go through the proper bidding process.
The University of Dayton has the tournament for the next two years, and the next bids will be for the years of 2016-18.
With the exception of baseball’s College World Series, the NCAA has never been too keen on awarding permanent custody of a tournament to one site. It only seems fair to open up the bidding. Then, if Dayton wants to keep the games, they’ll have to prove they can do it better than anyone else. Their long experience should give them a leg up.