Tuesday, April 1, 2008

Now that it's April, let's talk about March Madness

Most of March Madness is almost over. It's down to the Final Four, which is arguably when those who aren't mens college basketball fans might start to find the tournament worth watching.

The big news at the beginning of the NCAA tournament were the upsets - West Virginia over Duke, Davidson over both Georgetown and Wisconsin. Now the big story is that this is the first time since the NCAA began seeding teams in 1979 that all four No. 1 seeds have made it to the Final Four. Which is kind of weird when you think about it, since they are supposed to be the top four teams. I guess I can see how a No. 2 or No. 3 seed has a better game than a No. 1 to knock them out, but when it comes down to it, it is surprising that this is the first time it's happened in almost 30 years.

With 4 top seeds playing, will the games be more exciting? I don't know. Will they be more competitive? I hope so. In my opinion, there have been too many blowouts so far in the later rounds - Davidson vs. Kansas was edge-of-your-seat exciting because the score stayed close and there was a possibility of an upset up to the very last second.

I spoke of my disillusionment with pro basketball and how college basketball was just recently recommended to me by two different people as being a more pure and better form of the game - the players aren't there for endorsements or big paychecks; they're there for love of the game. I don't know if I'm sold yet. But I enjoyed watching Davidson's and Stephen Curry's run and it filled some of the gap before baseball started.

Anyway, the Final Four are UCLA, UNC, Kansas, and Memphis, playing this upcoming weekend. I've heard UNC touted as a favorite and a friend of mine has picked UCLA to take the whole thing. With no real underdog, it's hard to go against the grain, as this contrary Mary likes to do, so I think for now I'll just see how the rest of the tournament plays out, focus on baseball, and maybe remember to check it out again next year.

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