NBA needs Madness

Updated: March 14, 2006, 6:09 PM ET
By Chris Ramsay
There's nothing like tournament time. From CYO to high school to AAU to college, the single-elimination tournament is basketball's most exciting format. The do-or-die drama can't be beat. It's time for the NBA to get in on the action and build an NBA Wild-Card Tournament that has some meaning for teams and fans.

The NBA Wild-Card Tournament rewards teams that are playing well at the end of the season. For instance, despite terrible starts, the Rockets, Hawks and Raptors would have legitimate playoff hopes right now. It also rewards teams like the Bucks and Hornets that played well early but might miss the playoffs because of late-season struggles. Fans around the league would stay engaged longer, and losing teams and their games would have more meaning than ever.