Let Me Get This Straight…

So let me get this straight, NCAA Tournament, seen here reacting to itself…

…you’ve seen fit to give us a Final Four of Connecticut, Kentucky, Butler and Virginia Commonwealth, showing such little regard for your own history as to make us wonder if you’ve gone through some sort of life-changing event, like the CEO that finds love and becomes a hippie, or the hippie that decides he’s slept on his last floor and dons a suit and tie.

Because most years, there’s a few things you can count on… for instance, teams that make ridiculous runs to their conference championships almost never make the Final Four. Not only did you blow that up, you did so by allowing Connecticut, who made the most ridiculous conference-tourney run in history by winning five games in five days, to crash your party.

For instance, teams that finish fourth in a small conference AND struggled down the stretch AND were inefficient both on awfense (you like that?) and defense AND have to play in the “first four” AND have no experience making deep tourney runs have never made a Final Four. And yet, there sits Virginia Commonwealth, a team lucky to make the field and playing like they haven’t all season, in your Final Four.

For instance, teams that lose a first-round NBA draft pick AND have an enrollment of 4,500 AND were 14-9 in February AND lost to one of the worst teams in Division 1 (Youngstown State) AND made such an improbable run to the Final Four last year as to be compared to a little team from the most well-known basketball movie of all time simply don’t make return trips to Final Fours. And yet, there sits Butler, mocking the old versions of yourself.

For instance, teams that lose two Top 5 NBA draft picks AND are playing guys that got no run on last year’s “juggernaut” of a team AND were horrible on the road AND have very little experience in the tournament almost never make Final Fours. And yet you allowed in Kentucky, a blue-blood program sure, but one that hadn’t made your last four in 13 years, and this version of their team you let in?

So what are we to do as we fill out of brackets, NCAA Tournament? Are we to think like a child? Are we to throw darts at you (you’d like that, wouldn’t you)? What basis can we use for our selections. Of the millions of people that filled out ESPN brackets, only two people got all four teams right. Two! It goes without saying that’s the fewest ever, and I can only imagine the fillers were a housewife from Richmond and some six year old kid from Indianapolis.

Maybe you thought yourself too predictable. As if sending one lightly-considered team like Butler or George Mason per year wasn’t enough, that you really needed to blow things up. If so, kudos NCAA Tournament. You’ve blown yourself up alright.

And yeah, sure, it’s exciting. I imagine you’d argue that your abandonment by elite players within one or two years has caused this situation and this is your way of getting back at us. If Derrick Rose and Tyreke Evans were still at Memphis, or John Wall and DeMarcus Cousins still at Kentucky, or Blake Griffin still at Oklahoma, or Michael Beasley still at Kansas State, or Kevin Love still at UCLA, or Eric Gordon still at Indiana, or Evan Turner still at Ohio State, or Wesley Johnson still at Syracuse things would be a little more predictable. Instead smaller teams hold onto their cores for four years, developing together, learning systems, learning how to win, and thus, this Final Four. And I’d counter with Kentucky, who lost two of the top 5 players chosen in the NBA draft, the aforementioned Wall and Cousins, and still made it. What have you to say for yourself now?

And so our brackets collect in the trash bins, or that little graphic image of a trash receptacle in one corner of the computer screen, hours completely wasted trying to decipher your whims. You mock us NCAA Tournament, and do it too often, and this multi-billion dollar business will fall into the millions, you watch.

Keeping in line with your new ways, I feel like we should put our life savings on VCU to win the title. That would fit with this little prank you’ve been running for two weeks.

No, really, should we?

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  1. By Tournamental « Ed Honcho on April 1, 2011 at 11:25 am

    […] give us this particularly bizarre foursome to decide our national champion, as I expertly discussed here, I suppose it’s my duty, nay, the duty of all prognosticators to break it […]

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