The NCAA will be adding a new wrinkle to the postgame NCAA tournament celebrations this season by poaching an idea from The Basketball Tournament, the open invite, 64-team tournament played during the summer for a $2 million grand prize.
The idea is actually pretty simple: After a team advances in the NCAA tournament, they’ll pick one member of the roster to go to a giant replica of the bracket and have him move the team into the next round of the event.
This is what it looks like when it happened in the TBT event:
Coincidentally, this is also the tweet that set this idea in motion. It was Jeff Eisenberg, our buddy over at Yahoo Sports, who tweeted that he “wished the NCAA tournament would borrow this postgame tradition,” and the replies flowed in from other media members (myself, who is of the most importance, and Scott Van Pelt, clearly second in this conversation, included) as well as David Worlock, the Director of Media Coordination for the NCAA tournament. That all happened a month ago, and on Wednesday, Worlock more or less made the news official on twitter.
It won’t be exactly the same — TBT was played in one spot, where as there are obviously multiple locations for the NCAA tournament — but there are work-arounds that could make it even more fun. For example, if you make it through the first weekend, you get to bring with you the four-team section of the bracket to the next round of the event.
There are so many possibilities.
I love this idea so much.
Great photo ops. Fun moments for fans. Shareable, viral content for social media. A chance for the teams to celebrate specific players, coaches or members of the program.
There is no downside.