Tuesday, March 16, 2010

Messin' with Madness

The drum beat is getting louder and louder by the day. Last year, there was some buzz but this year the NCAA has indicated they will give consideration to expanding the NCAA men’s basketball tournament field (aka the greatest tournament on the face of the planet) from it’s current 64 (+1… don’t ask) teams.

The most popular proposal that we have heard is expanding the field to 96 teams. Why? It’s got to be about the money, right? Why else would you alter an entity of such perfect symmetry (64 teams, 6 rounds, 18 days, pure bliss)?

And the biggest stated argument for expanding the field? Those bubble teams that did not get an invite to The Dance would get in with the expanded format. Really? You mean to tell us there won’t be bubble teams who get left out of the tournament with 96 teams, 128 teams… 150 teams that won’t be bitching and whining on Selection Sunday to the ESPN crew about how they got shafted by the selection committee? (Selection Sunday is a double-edged sword: the great unveiling of the tournament brackets is like opening presents on Christmas morning. However, the whine-fest seems to get worse every year).

Ask yourself this question: is the tournament and thus our viewing enjoyment better served by having a 19-14 Illinois team in the field?

And how are 96 teams ever going to fit so conveniently in readable 10-point font on a standard 8-1/2 x 11 piece of office grade photo-copy paper?

These are just a few questions that must be raised before we rush head-long into tournament expansion.

Also, new rule for Selection Sunday proceedings: any coach or analyst making a pitch for why Team “X” should be in the tournament must pick out a Team “Y” from the field that they would replace.

Tournament brackets, here.

Congratulations to the San Diego St. Aztecs who pulled two upsets in the Mountain West conference tournament over the weekend to earn an automatic bid in the NCAA tournament.

The man pictured is Patrick Patterson of the Kentucky Wildcats who are our pick to win the tournament.

Addendum #1: Consider this our Gen-X/slacker contribution to the Farmer’s Almanac. Don’t know what it is but Selection Sunday is coincidental with fantastic weather. Did not this weekend feel like a breakout weekend here in Southern California? After 3 months of stormy weather seemingly reserved exclusively for the weekend, we got beautiful blue skies and sunny weather. Looking back, whether it’s here in Rolando Beach or at our humble Pacific Beach duplex rental years gone by, we would, while breaking down our brackets comment, “why, isn’t this a glorious spring day”.

It is for this reason alone that the NCAA powers-that-be not upset the tournament gods. Mid-March climate change cannot abide!

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