Originally Posted by texasdave
So if I am following this correctly; if they had all play-in games for 16 seeds, then that would have involved the 8 lowest-ranked teams. And these 8 teams, more than likely, would have been the representatives of the minor conferences. I am assuming that the losers of these four play-in games are going to get the same amount of money as if they lost a first round game. So it would seem to me, just MO, that those teams would want to play in the play-in games. They would have the eyes of the nation upon them on Tuesday and Wednesday evening instead of just being cut in on from time to time as will likely happen on Thursday and Friday. There entire tourney experience would not have been a beat-down administered at the hands of the #1 seeds. And someone has to win those play-in games. So they would get to play a team more on their level and have a 50/50 chance of playing on Thursday or Friday anyway. Maybe I am misunderstanding, but that is how I see it.
IIRC, the precedent for the play-in round we have today began in the early '80's. Before the tournament expanded to 64 and 48 teams qualified, there were 4 play-in games in Dayton to determine the four lowest seeds - which were then #12 seeded. It was referred to as the Preliminary Round back then.
Xavier participated in the '83 preliminary round, falling to a very good Alcorn State team, who then gave Patrick Ewing and Georgetown all they could handle in the next round.
Another notable Preliminary round survivor was Richmond in '84, who then proceeded to knock off Auburn - a team with a couple of dudes named Charles Barkley and Chuck Person.