Beilein: Format a 'good compromise'

Updated: July 14, 2010, 11:34 AM ET
ESPN.com news services

Michigan coach John Beilein has coached schools from power conferences, like the Wolverines and West Virginia. He's also coached mid-majors like Richmond and Canisius.

What that varied experience in mind, Beilein sees the new format for the NCAA tournament -- with 68 teams and an eight-team first round featuring the four lowest-seeded at-large teams and four lowest-seeded automatic bid winners -- as a "good compromise," the Detroit Free Press reported.

"Being from Canisius and Richmond, you work your tail off to play in to the tournament. But it's a good compromise to get play-ins," Beilein said, according to the report.

The "First Four" will be played either the Tuesday or Wednesday after Selection Sunday. The winners of the four games will advance to what will now be called the "second round" on either Thursday or Friday. The newly named third round -- with 16 games -- will be Saturday and Sunday. The rest of the tournament will remain unchanged.

"There's still going to be controversy over the 68th and 69th spots, but usually there are three or four teams that can't get in that will," Beilein said, according to the report. "It gives them a chance to play their way in. It's a middle ground between automatic and at-large bids."

Information from ESPN.com's Andy Katz was used in this report.

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