|ESPN.com: College Basketball Nation||[Print without images]|
|Lorenzo Romar and Washington missed the NCAA tournament last March despite winning the Pac-12 regular-season title.|
"What you do in November and December as a league, it just sticks with you for the rest of January, February and March,'' said Donovan. "On Selection Sunday, they're talking about games that happened on Nov. 18
five months ago. Maybe the team got better. But because of (the non-conference) the league gets put in a box. The only way you get out of it is get as many teams in the tournament and do something.''
Short of gimmicks, college basketball could reward regular-season champions, not conference-tournament champions, with automatic N.C.A.A. tournament slots. Washington, for instance, won the Pac-12 last season but did not obtain an at-large tournament bid, a rarity for a major conference and, to those involved, an injustice.
“The decision to exclude Washington was a terrible statement and a signal that the regular season doesn’t matter,” Scott, the Pac-12 commissioner, said.