I got a text just before the conference tournaments in NCAA men’s college basketball started from my best friend Tom which said “Tourney hadn’t even started and I’m already done.” This from a guy who used to call me all day on the first Thursday and Friday for updates while I sat at home watching every game on satellite. As for me, I feel the same. And I’m the guy who’s boss used to come in and ask when the Madness started so that he could schedule me off for those days. The Thursday and Friday of the NCAA AND conference tournaments. Since the days of Maryland Public Television showing out of town games during their pledge drive.
Now, like Tom, I’m done. Have been for ten years. Here are ten reasons why I don’t watch the NCAA tournament much if at all:
10. I don’t know anything about the players or teams outside of locals Georgetown and Maryland or the conferences, because no one good hangs around long enough for me to learn anything about them. One of the best things about the tournament was watching a group of freshmen come in and grow together.
9. There are no more “Tark the Sharks”, “Leftys”, “Diggers”, “Big Johns”, “Rollies”, “Fab Fives”, Phi Slamma Jammas”, “Cornbreads”, “Magics”, “Popeyes”, “Sleepys”, or even Fennis Dembos.
8.The regular season and conference tournaments don’t mean as much anymore. The 68 has taken away almost all of the suspense.
7. The word upset is used way to much. First off, it’s anybodies game on a neutral sight court. And no one knows what to expect from 18, 19 and 20 year old kids. They aren’t mature enough yet to expect consistency every night.
6. No more Billy “Jim this game is over Packer” doing commentary on CBS.
5. Too many empty seats at first round games. Pod system or not.
4. Major conferences getting way too many bids.
3. Butler or not, the champion is always a one or two seed or comes from a BCS conference.
2. The Final Four venues are too big. I’m just waiting for new Texas Stadium to bid on the game. Let’s see how many seats that they can cram in for that.
1. The number 68. It just doesn’t look or sound right. The only person who could make 68 look good was former Pittsburgh Steeler L.C. Henderson Greenwood. And he had to wear gold shoes to do it.
The right number is 32. Just conference champions like in the old days. Everyone else can go to the National Invitational Tournament or class. (No really. I’m not kidding.)
It would make filling our our brackets a lot easier I’ll tell you that.