Rob Long: I Love The Madness
This is a time of the year when you absolutely love being wrong. I made my NCAA Tournament picks on my “bracket” days before the tournament began and now it’s not even worth the price of the paper. I have only eight out of the 16 teams remaining and two out of my four teams are gone from my predicted Final Four selections and I’m perfectly okay with that.
The NCAA Tournament has provided us with excitement that no other sporting event can provide. We look forward to the upsets and the unpredictability of those upsets is what keeps us on the edges of our seats. Duke goes down in the first round, again and the “weak” SEC provides us with two of the more exciting teams in the tournament so far in Kentucky and Tennessee.
That’s what March Madness is all about. It’s the time of the year when stars are born both from the player and coaching perspective. Ladies and gentlemen, meet Josh Richardson. Tennessee’s 6 foot 6 inch junior guard only averaged 10 points a game for the season but has averaged just under 20 points per game in three games in the NCAA Tournament.
On the coaching side, college basketball die hards may know about “The Mayor” but if you don’t follow throughout the season you may not be that familiar with Iowa State’s Head Coach Fred Hoiberg. While the Cyclones have been one of the more exciting teams to watch so far, their success isn’t a novelty. The Cyclones won the Big 12 conference tournament and Melvin Ejam, Iowa State’s 6’6″ senior forward was named Big 12 player of the year.
Who’s next? Will Kentucky’s youngsters continue to grow under the tutelage of John Calipari? Will one of the Cinderella’s, Dayton or Tennessee, advance? You could actually argue that Dayton’s match up against Stanford is the battle of Cinderella’s. So in that case, we know an underdog is going to advance to the Elite Eight. College basketball is better now than it’s ever been.
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