March Sanity 03/23/2009Posted by sportretort in Sports, Uncategorized.
Tags: arizona, bracketology, cinderella, Creighton, march madness, ncaa basketball, ncaa basketball tournament, st marys, sweet 16, upsets
What has happened to March Madness? Last year, for the first time, all 4 number one seeds reached the Final Four. Snooze. At least it was an anomaly, right? Then we got this years tournament. After the first week of play we are down to the sweet 16. And if you picked your bracket according to form, you would have 14 of the 16 teams. For the first time ever, all the first, second and third seeds advanced to the 3rd round. Throw in two of the foruth seeds, and you have only a five seed (oooh, there’s Cinderella) and 12 seed Arizona. Yes, that Arizona. Not Arizona A&M, or Western Arizona State, But the University of Arizona. The surprise team in this field stumbled through the regular season, probably should not have even been invited, and is making their, what, 25th straight appearance in the dance? Where’s the sex appeal?
When you only invite teams from the large conferences, this is what you get. My lord, they have turned the tournament into spring training. There was more excitement in the Team USA ‘s 9th inning rally over Puerto Rico to advance to the World Baseball Classic semi-final. Where are the upsets? Where are the buzzer beaters? They are all in the NIT. The evil step sisters won this one. In inviting only 4 teams from the mid major conferences out of the 34 at large bids, the selection committee made sure Cinderella did not make it to the dance. There is no glass slipper, only limited edition, over priced Nike’s. And that STINKS.
This tournament is becoming too predictable. The games are too pedestrian. Keep it up, NCAA, and the ratings will fall. No one will watch if they know what is going to happen. This tournament got it’s moniker from the mayhem of unpredictability. Those good teams that no one has heard of. Who hasn’t heard of Arizona? The 6th and 7th place teams the Big Ten, ACC, Big East, etc., may be better than St Mary’s or Creighton, but they have no more chance of winning this thing than those small schools. And if those small teams advance there is a buzz. Imagine if the 12th seed in the sweet 16 was St Marys. That’s all anyone would be talking about. Who’s talking about Arizona? No one. Take away Cinderella and you have just another tournament. We might as well go back to a 16 team field. This tournament grew because inclusion was good. Smaller teams made a name for themselves with an early round win or two. Who cares about the 6th place Pac Ten team (‘Zona) that finished 9-10 in their conference?