Isn’t it great to go to a basketball arena and, in one place, watch elimination game after elimination game in person?

That’s the scenario when the quarterfinal round of the New Mexico state basketball tourney starts.

Funny thing, though, is that all of these tournaments are really 16-team tournaments. The first round is scattered throughout the state – with girls games being played on Friday and the boys games going on the next day.

It’s the same deal as the next round: The winners advance and the losers go home, so there’s a terrific sense of urgency from both the players and the fans there to watch. It’s an electric energy that sweeps across the facility.

The only problem for New Mexico hoops fans is this…

You get to see only two of those games – one girls game on Friday and one boys game on Saturday.

Wouldn’t it be great to see more than one each day?

It Can Be Done

Without adding an extra round at The Pit and Santa Ana Star Center, to further contribute to the facilities crunch there, how about this? The use of 10 permanent regional sites to be used for the Round-of-16, with the games being played (just like now) on the Friday and Saturday before the quarterfinals.

Of course, this kind of thing would be tweaked, but here’s what the opening weekend would’ve looked like as the 2010 playoffs got underway:


The sites would be permanent and each school would be designated a site as its “home” regional.  The same teams would be hosting games (as in the current system), but most of the time it wouldn’t be where they play their regular season games.

You might notice that, in this particular case, the Santa Fe regional has a bonanza of boys games in one day. Seven, in fact. This is do-able though, because the current slate at The Pit and Santa Ana Star Center crams in eight games in a single day.

On the other hand, as the regional sites will be told to expect occasionally, the 2010 regional at Highlands University would have only two boys games on Saturday.

But, hey, two games are still better than one.