Monday, March 28, 2011

David and Goliath guaranteed

I occasionally wonder what, besides inertia, is stopping the NCAA from creating a tournament akin to March Madness, for its football season.

Before this current March Madness tournament began a fellow asked me if I was "into" this year's games. I responded by shrugging and saying something like "Not so much."

Well, now I am hooked. Riveted and for good reason. Ten of the twelve games this past weekend have been thrilling. Virginia Commonwealth's last second victory on Friday night against Florida State (on one of the best bounce passes I have ever seen) and the VCU victory again yesterday beating the overwhelming (11 point) favorite Kansas was stuff of theater. Then throw in Butler's two wins against favored opponents and this was a weekend for the dogs.

And if the David versus Goliath victories were not sufficient entertainment, how many games between the heavyweights came down to the last shot. Kentucky now has won several contests with a fellow named Brandon Knight demonstrating that he has no fear. It is startling to note, as it relates to Kentucky, that Princeton, another David, came close to beating Kentucky in the very first round. Had it not been for Brandon Knight's driving shot in the last seconds, the Princeton Tigers would have knocked out a team from the powerhouse SEC, that now finds itself in the final four.

When you see a play, there is--for those in the know--a predictable ending. I read a column over the weekend which alluded to the theater of sports but included the point that sports is the ultimate theater since, even those who claim to be in the know--don't know.

The tournament draws a tremendous audience, is beyond belief lucrative to the conferences and teams involved, spurs business (how many ads have you seen this week with some sale that is a take-off of March Madness) and is just fun.

So, explain to me why those who manage NCAA division I football continue to declare who shall play for the national championship game, without having a tournament that allows the combatants a chance to compete for the honor. If VCU can be in the final four and defeat USC (Pac 10), Georgetown (Big East), Purdue (Big Ten), Florida State (ACC) and Kansas (Big 12), in consecutive games, then maybe Boise State should have had a crack at a national title by playing games on the field.

Monday Aril 4th will be the national championship game. It is guaranteed to be a David vs. Goliath contest as either Butler or VCU will play either Connecticut or Kentucky. It will be great theater and a fitting finish to this year's tournament.

1 comment:

  1. Being a somewhat unforgiving person I have hated Kentucky since the Rupp era. The Texas Western/Kentucky final was the greatest game ever and really drew me into college basketball. I want Kentucky to beat Connecticut so they can lose to the underdog in the final. My humble opinion. Mack and Howard would start on any team in the country, though they wouldn't have even made Kentucky as freshman. They've grown to be big time players.