La Salle Coach Says Regular-Season Conference Champs Should Make NCAA Tournament

NEW YORK — La Salle coach Dr. John Giannini has an idea to shake up the NCAA Tournament.

He believes that teams that win the regular-season title in the automatic qualifying leagues should automatically advance to the Big Dance, as opposed to only teams that win the postseason tournament.

“I think it’s awful when teams have great years and they prove over three months and 16, 18 games that they’re the best team in a conference and then they get knocked off and they don’t get to go to something that they’ve really earned,” Giannini told recently.

Asked if there was a specific instance that stuck out in his mind, he said: “You could go every year. There’s typically 7-10 conference champions in the NIT that are in that situation.”

La Salle made the NCAA Tournament in 2013 with an at-large bid out of the Atlantic 10 Conference, while St. Louis won the conference tournament. The Explorers reached the Sweet 16.

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