Schools in scramble mode after latest 2-in-4 ruling

Katz: 2-in-4 fallout

Vitale: Glad 2-in-4 tourney rule has been overturned

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Keep the early-season tournaments alive


Aug. 21
Here we go again. The courts have overturned a previous ruling which would have stricken the NCAA's two-in-four rule prohibiting schools from participating in more than two exempt tournaments over a four-year period.

I don't buy the fact that the NCAA is, in effect, in favor of wiping out early-season tournaments -- like the Maui Invitational, the Great Alaska Shootout, the Preseason NIT and a number of smaller events.

Smaller schools deserve the opportunity to compete because the big boys won't go for home-and-home series.

To me, this would be a disaster. It would eliminate opportunities for the David vs. Goliath scenarios that have created excitement in college basketball in recent years. It would have a serious effect on smaller schools trying to improve their RPI, which influences the NCAA Tournament selection committee.

In these early-season tourneys, mid-major teams like Ball State -- which beat Kansas and UCLA in 2001 to get to the Maui Classic final -- play the big boys on a neutral court. These smaller schools deserve the opportunity to compete because the big schools won't go for home-and-home series. They won't face these smaller but tough schools on the road.

The NCAA appealed a ruling that would have allowed these tournaments to continue, and the courts have now ruled in favor of the NCAA.

Who knows how this complicated scenario will eventually turn out? It's disappointing that it will have an impact on a number of events this season. To me, this whole fight doesn't make any sense.

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