Yahoo Sports- The inclusion of a name-brand program like UCLA over lower-profile Colorado State, Temple or Murray State does create a perception problem, but the tinfoil hat crowd that insists this was a money grab by the NCAA is searching for malice where there is only stupidity. While UCLA probably hadn't accomplished enough to make the field and definitely hadn't accomplished enough to avoid the First Four, the inclusion of the Bruins was likely an honest mistake.
The easiest argument to shoot down is the idea that UCLA's presence in the NCAA tournament will lead to big TV ratings in Los Angeles or droves of fans from Southern California buying tickets. Anyone saying that doesn't understand college basketball's tenuous place in Los Angeles market.
Pauley Pavilion is half-empty for most UCLA home games and Bruins trail far behind the Lakers, Dodgers, Clippers, and USC football as a ratings draw. If only a few hundred UCLA fans bothered to make the four-hour drive to Las Vegas for the Pac-12 tournament, don't expect many more to travel cross-country to Louisville for an opening-round NCAA tournament game.
This is just hilarious. And the NCAA cynic in me hopes it is true. What it worse? To look like you are disrespecting the process of the selection of the biggest sporting event the of year for financial gain, or to look like you simply weren't paying attention during said process? This is vintage NCAA. The only big business that can continue to be successful without paying it's 'employees' or making any wise business decisions whatsoever. Think about how wealthy the NCAA is and they couldn't even fathom that they would stand to benefit monetarily from a college football playoff system until this year. College athletics are a business that simply isn't in the business of making wise business decisions. Oh, the irony.
The sad thing is this actually makes more sense. There is no way the braindead people at the NCAA offices realized that UCLA could potentially gain the Los Angeles TV market. For a entity that is famous for going by the book in nearly every circumstance, even if it puts the well being of teenagers at risk, they certainly aren't good at reading comprehension. You had one job guys, one job. Pick the 64 (68, whatever) most deserving teams, and you couldn't even get that right. "Whoops, sorry guys. I know you played 30+ games with the potential once in a lifetime dream of making it to the big dance, but it seems I dozed off during the selection process. Better luck next year. I knew I shouldn't have skipped my morning cup of coffee." I guy this kills my theory that the NCAA is run by soulless robots that can't take situational information into account. The BCS would have never made mistake like this!