Monday, March 17, 2008

Why I Hate the NCAA Tournament

I'm officially done with the NCAA tournament, DONE, one bracket but no wagers, nothing else. Because after hearing all the shit about brackets for the last 5 days, I could give 2, nay, 3 shits less about the whole thing. Why waste my time? My pick to go all the way usually ends up losing in the 2nd round to some team from New Hampshire, which should be fun because I love upsets, but not when it's ruining your fun, so there's that. And it's not just the fact that I'm a sore loser in general, it's that the whole charade is a lame excuse to gamble, really that's the only reason the whole thing is still such a big deal.

I used to love college basketball, but the whole high-school phenomenon ruined the sport for good, and try as they might, the one-year limit isn't going to rekindle that fire. The reason college basketball sucks now is because the stars that are there, aren't there long enough to make an indelible impact on their school. Do you really think Derrick Rose gives two shits about Memphis or that Michael Beasley is going to Kansas State because he loves Manhattan, Kansas? So that leaves us with the majority of college basketball being played by entire teams of role players...not fun.

The game, frankly, sucks. I don't like seeing teams like Butler become efficient giant killers because they can hit a mid-range jumper, that for some reason, counts for 3 points. Now, I'm all in favor of keeping the 3-point line where it is in college, otherwise the athletic teams would just steamroll. But its the reliance on the 3-pointer that kills me...and that's something that'll never change.

It's just terrible to watch this shit being pawned off as basketball, there's no grace or flow to the game anymore because the great basketball talents go play for a team where they can be a one-man show, and the great 'teams' are a bunch of unathletic white dudes (see: Duke) who can hit 3's. Even the athletic teams like Michigan State and Memphis are so poorly coached that while they'll have some great open court action, their fundamentals are so fucking awful that what they're playing is closer to football than basketball. And have you seen Wisconsin play basketball? They make the Spurs-Pistons Final (which I happened to enjoy immensly...Detroit lost and that rules) look like an ABA game.

So that leaves us with the precious few good teams that are actually fun to watch. North Carolina is a great team that I'd actually go out of my way to watch play despite my complete and utter disdain for Tyler Hansborough (who I'm coming around to) and Roy Williams. UCLA is easily the smartest team out there and can play a complex style of basketball that's the most like the NBA, oh and they actually play defense too. Kansas is OK, they could beat any team in the country or they could totally brainfart and look like they all want to punch Bill Self right in the face. I hate Memphis, Tennessee, Georgetown, Duke...that's just not aesthetically pleasing basketball.

More than anything, I hate the personalities. Coach K and Roy Williams make me wish there was a scenario where they both could lose...and then become deaf and blind. Joe Lunardi is a pathetic number-cruncher, I'd say he was like NCAA basketball's Mel Kiper Jr., but Mel is my man and that would hurt his feelings. ESPN's constant shoving-down-our-throats of Hubert Davis and Dick Vitale is going to make me vomit one of these days if they're not careful...but most of all Digger Phelps. Digger is a flat out fool, he has no idea what he's talking about, and he always looks angry, why are you angry Digger? ESPN pays you to do a terrible job. You're like an eloquent Emmitt Smith.

The thing that hurts me the most tho is the fact that I usually enjoy the tourney because of the atmosphere. Plus, once you eliminate the chaff, the cream rises and you're left with some pretty solid basketball. I like Bobby Knight and Jay Bilas. I love anything Gus Johnson announces and even don't mind Billy Packer despite the fact that he's to the ACC as Mark May is to the SEC in NCAA football. And it sucks because I'm the kind of person who will watch these regular season games out of habit. What's on TV? Jack shit...oh wait, Virginia Tech vs. Maryland is on...well, might as well get stoned and watch this shit. I have an opinion on most of the teams regularly televised, yet remain put off. And I blame it completely on ESPN.

So I will be doing only one 'bracket' and posting it on here, it won't be an ESPN bracket because they ruined the fun of the whole thing. So fuck you Digger Phelps.

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