I love sports. I love the NBA playoffs, the World Series, college football’s regular season, the Olympics, the Super Bowl, All Star games. I love all of them.
But the best sporting event every year is the opening weekend of the NCAA Basketball Tournament. I anxiously fill out my bracket, print it out and quickly apply a highlighter to the games I win and slowly mark out the games I don’t. I love the “live look in” on other games going on simultaneously. I love the buzzer beaters, the cinderellas. I even downloaded “One Shining Moment” to play on my iPod when I win my bracket pool. (Still hasn’t been played).
When my wife and I were engaged she walked in the living room to find me watching yet another game one March afternoon. She gave me the look and said, “Basketball again?” Yes Honey, get ready for every March for the rest of your life.
Recently, SI.com, espn.com and countless blogs reported that the NCAA was looking into expanding the tournament to as many as 96 teams up from it’s current 65 team format.
This would be a horrible idea in my opinion. As former NBA player Charles Oakley was famously quoted about something not related to this, “If it ain’t broke, don’t break it.”
Many coaches are predictably OK with this as they are judged by how many postseason tournaments they get their teams into and also how they perform within the tournament. The more teams that get in the more opportunity they have to overachieve.
Syracuse head coach Jim Boeheim is in favor of the possible expansion and told SI.com, “We have automatic qualifiers, so there’s teams in there that aren’t the best teams in the country.”
By the having the automatic qualifiers it means everyone has a chance to win the championship. The truth is everyone really doesn’t have a chance. A better way to put it is that everyone has a chance to keep a team from winning the championship.
In 2006 George Mason knocked off number one seed Connecticut to make it to the final four. Very few really believed that the Patriots could win the whole thing, but they sure kept from UCONN from winning another title.
Another reason for making changes has to do with television contracts. The games are currently seen on CBS but the ESPN family of networks could possibly become a player having games on simultaneously on ESPN and ESPN2 with the headline games on ABC. This would be nice to be able to see a wide range of games but would lose the charm of the “live look in”.
The simple reason for the change would be to because there would be more games. This would make the postseason longer and add up to 31 mores games.
So if you love it so much why would you be opposed to more games. It’s too much of a good thing. Have you ever had the tiramisu cheesecake at Cheesecake Factory? It’s awesome. There is a reason I don’t order two pieces of it.
So this week as we fill out our brackets and get ready to hunker down for the next month in basketball bliss, let’s hope that they keep this the way it is and don’t ruin it. If nothing else, so my wife will talk to me in April.
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