But what if Louisville, or Southern California, or Oklahoma State — all implicated by the feds in their investigation — goes from an N.C.A.A. bubble team to the National Invitation Tournament? Will its fans believe the committee really did keep its blinders on?
We’ll know by the end of Sunday, but what we know now (and always) is that the N.C.A.A. has a billion reasons to look the other way. The organization clocked $1.06 billion in revenue and a $105 million in profit for its 2017 fiscal year, according to a financial statement released recently.
Television rights packages with CBS and Turner accounted for more than $800 million of its revenue, so do not expect Jim Nantz, Charles Barkley or their broadcast colleagues dispatched to the tournament sites over the next three weeks to harp on how college basketball isn’t perfect. The networks have agreed to pay $8.8 billion to be the mouthpiece of the Division I men’s basketball tournament through 2032.