Partly Interesting With A Chance Of Greatness

Beavers bound for Elite Eight with 65-58 win over Loyola | Ncaa Basketball  | hastingstribune.com

In lieu of common sense and because I don’t drink the way I used to, Imma dish yet again on the world of college basketball. Or more specifically, “March Madness”. For those of you unfamiliar with the college basketball tournament, congratulations! It means you have a life.

For the rest of the population, this month long carnival validates our belief in the underdog. It’s a time when fans can rejoice in the accomplishments of student athletes while paying homage to sacred programs run by coaches who value teaching above wins and losses . . . okay, that’s not it at all. Nope, March Madness is when fans blow their vacation money on schools they never heard of. It’s also a convenient excuse to drink too much beer and eat too many hot wings . . and call off work.

In spite of the much hyped moniker, there’s precious little madness to it all. It’s a tournament that involves sixty-four teams, although by now it might be sixty-eight . . or a hundred . . rest assured it’s a shitload of teams. They all have one thing in common, they’re all unpaid amateurs . . tall, lanky pups who’ve been seeded based on the opinions of a committee made up of . . you guessed it, NCAA suits. But it doesn’t matter what the suits say because these are kids we’re talking about here. And if the star player for a “prohibitive favorite” ends up getting dumped by his high school sweetheart? Well, you can use your bracket for toilet paper.

Tournament seedings are based on qualifiers such as conference strength, conference records, ranked vs unranked teams and other important sounding bullshit. But it’s all conjecture. You’re better off wagering a thousand bucks that you’ll run into your doctor in a grocery store checkout today than pluck it down on a group of young men who have little idea what their lives are going to look like next month.

The selling point of “Madness” is that there are upsets aplenty, but a quick look at three of the most talked about finals upsets tells a different story.

1983- North Carolina State defeats Houston: The late Jim Valvano was every bit the crooked recruiter as Houston, he was simply more charming.

1985- Villanova defeats Georgetown: Villanova is a big time basketball program, always has been. No upset there.

1991- Duke defeats UNLV: This was considered an upset because Duke’s roster was full of kids who went to class.

A couple years back, a sixteen seed (the lowest a bracket has to offer) beat the number one seed Virginia Cavaliers. But to go and call it a “monumental upset” is to conveniently forget that Bob Barker is older than the combined age of the Virginia roster. So there’s that.

Which brings us to this year’s darlings of the dance, the undefeated Gonzaga Bulldogs. They are now two wins shy of the title game, and it’s a tilt I would tune in to watch. Not because I believe they’re a mortal lock, but rather, because I know it’s never that easy when you’re talking about kids. Hell, the 2007 New England Patriots were a bunch of grown ass men with rings on their resumes and they got their asses handed to them in a one game winner take all contest.

Of course, there’s still time for some club to knock off the Bulldogs before they get there. After which paid shills journalists and broadcasters will exclaim that “Cinderella” crashed the dance, even if it’s just not true. And what’s even dumber is that these talking pinheads can’t shut up long enough to let the games just be. To let the kids just . . be kids. In all their bluster, they miss the point of it all. Entirely.

The only thing that really has to be true is the chance.

41 thoughts on “Partly Interesting With A Chance Of Greatness

  1. B,

    I’m curious where the term “March Madness” came from in the first place.

    And you’re right. They are just kids. Kids with dreams. Dreams for which most will be dashed.

    Funny how these things come to be… Funny how, just like the Super Bowl, there are sometimes surprises and upsets and wagering and drinking and… waitaminute… THAT’S why it came to be. You needed another carnival of sorts!

    Q

    Liked by 2 people

  2. Imma gonna date myself and bring up the Tar Heels coach Dean Smith. While generally known for having a clean program, I absolutely despised his 4 corner ‘offense’ (to this day I still hate the 4-corner stall which sent me into orbit and seemed so unfair in b-ball competition). Which is probably why I developed a strong anti-UNC attitude whenever they played. To this day, they share real estate with every New England team in my mind. Hey, nobody ever said being a fan was logical. I can’t imagine any brackets this year being used for anything other than to line the bottom of a bird cage.

    Liked by 3 people

  3. “The only thing that has to be true is the chance.”

    I LOVE THAT.

    LOVE IT!

    The brackets crack me up because there’s always an unseeded team the upsets a top five, making you reach for some more wings as your bracket falls apart. I feel that this is when people start getting to know the kids more than the coaches, when it gets down to The Elite 8. You start blabbing how he was 8-for-8 in the last game, 88% from the free throw line, and is an Business Major 🙂 I will tune in tonight as they got a PAC-10 (I mean PAC-12) team and Gonzaga. Plus I used to like the countdown to the final two with a compilation of buzzer beaters and crowds (when we had them) losing their minds (before they decided to be jackass racists and threaten kids’ lives for not beating the other team even if they had a double-double). Maybe they’ll create one, or maybe I’ll just enjoy your next two pieces, Final Four and the Championship. 🙂 Annnnnnnd as a former sports journalist, commentators and columnists drive me bananas sometimes, so I know what you’re talking about., we had those types in the office. So I feel you on that hermano. Sending you sunshine and Waves 🙂

    Liked by 2 people

    • Cali,

      Gracias hermana.

      As for the games, isn’t that just the dumbest, craziest, most illogical crap ever? To threaten these kids! I mean, you want to yell and scream and tear up your bracket, g’head. But leave the kids alone. Anyone who issues a death threat should be charged. Enough of that garbage.

      I’m hoping the Bulldogs can win it all and complete the first undefeated season in like, forty five years. But if they fall short I’ll be rooting on Juwan Howard’s Wolverines. Juwan was always the coolest cat in the room. I remember his days at Michigan and later on the Heat. And he can coach to boot!

      Liked by 2 people

      • A WIN for John Stockton and your Bulldogs. What a lead! I was hoping for a closer game but man. Ooof. Plus I hope that ref is OK. But I am going for Wolverines not so much because Howard was part of the Fab Five and an awesome coach we just don’t like the Bruins … ever … but would make for a great Final Four Michigan and Gonzaga 🙂

        Liked by 2 people

        • With Howard and his Michigan team out, it’s all Gonzaga for me. I’ve not watched but I’ve been paying attention online and watching highlights. If the Bulldogs can beat UCLA . . Imma watch the finals.

          Liked by 2 people

  4. I enjoy seeing the underdogs win … especially when the mid-majors come through. I’m a firm believer that if a team doesn’t finish better than 500 in their league – no to the dance unless they win the conference tournament. For me, that would open the field to more mid-majors. Oh well …. I know that will never happen because the ones with the biggest purse strings control the strings.

    After several years of having 3 teams in the tournament that are only 11 miles apart, I notice their absence in the field. Then again, none of them deserved the dance this year.

    Liked by 2 people

    • I am not up on how exactly it all works. And now they really lost me because I learned there is a “First Four”? Evidently it’s the first four teams to make it into the tournament . . . tournament?

      Now I COULD argue they are the LAST four to make it into the tournament so the play in round is redundant because it’s . . . yes, the Final Four. But hey . .. I’ll leave it alone.

      I know Duke was out this year and UNC was out early. No Nova or UConn to be found and Alabama and Illinois were top seeds? What in the blessed hell is going on in this sport?

      Liked by 1 person

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.