Friday, March 13, 2009

Madness In The Month Prior To April

It's almost time for March Madness and you should be interested even if you have yet to watch a college basketball game this season because it really is the best tournament in sports. It's the one event that casual basketball fans can all gather together and watch.

The chasm in drama between the NBA playoffs and March Madness grows wider for me every year and will soon reach Grand Canyonesqe levels. Therefore I must get my fix in now before I grow bored with the sport.

Why is the chasm so big? Let me just give you quick stat:
Since 1980 (the birth of the modern age as far as I'm concerned) there have been 19 d
ifferent teams that have won the March Madness tournament. In that same span there have been eight NBA teams that have won a championship. In nearly 30 years, the NBA has split the championship between the Lakers, Spurs, Celtics, Rockets, Pistons, and Bulls plus a one time championship for the 76ers and Miami Heat.

Wow, exciting.

Want to know how the NBA will end up this year? The Lakers will play either the Celtics or LeBron James in the Finals.

L.A. will get t
o the championship series thanks in large part to a fleecing trade last year where former Lakers executives working in Memphis basically gave the Lakers All-Star forward Pau Gasol in return for some cheese and Jack Nicholson's autograph.

If the Cavs get to the Finals, it will be because the team sucked during the right year so they could draft King James. Take LeBron away from the Cavs and that team might be the worst team in the NBA. That's some team building right there!

I'll root for other teams like the Mavericks, Magic, and Hornets to make the Finals, but I'm not holding my breath.

March Madness, on the other hand, has a much larger pool of champions to pick from. There are still only five to ten teams that will actually be able to win the championship, but which one will it be? Th
at's the key to the drama.

And we've been reminded during the conference tournaments that anything can happen. In the Big East Tournament, the second seeded Pitt Panthers were upset by West Virginia while Syracuse upended third seeded Connecticut in a thrilling six overtime battle through inanition.

Meanwhile, the Big 12 tournament has already been turned on it's ear as top seeded Kansas, second seeded Oklahoma, and fourth seeded Kansas State have all been knocked out early. No one thinks that Baylor will actually win the tournament, but they changed the the look of it by upsetting the Jayhawks.

That's the greatness of the NCAA tournament. It's not who wins, but who survives. So get your bracket set up and start praying to the basketball gods because the Madness begins next week and soon there will be blood.

Well, probably not blood, but there will be drama for sure.

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