It's finally here!
College basketball's annual tournament to decide the national champion.
Like every sport, you could probably find something wrong with college hoops, and perhaps you could even dispute certain aspects of the tournament itself.
Some say that the tournament does not find out who the best team really is. Others complain that 12-18 teams like Oakland get an invite, but really good teams like Notre Dame and Maryland are left out.
I do not dispute the fact that the NCAA Tournament is not made up of the 65 best teams in college basketball.
Also, the best team does not always win the title.
However, to me, the NCAA Tournament is the best sporting event on the planet. No other sporting event provides all of the interesting story lines that the "Big Dance" provides.
Also, year in and year out, overmatched teams dig deep within themselves to pull off amazing upsets. Not to mention the fact that each year there seems to be at least three or four buzzer-beaters that leave fans thrilled.
At press time, the field of 64 is set, with Oakland having beaten Alabama A&M in the play-in game.
Now they become what is likely North Carolina's first-round sacrificial lamb. However, the beauty of college hoops is you never know.
The tournament gives fans a chance to see the purest form of college sports.
The vast majority of the guys playing over the next few weeks will never play pro ball. Many will have jobs just like you and I.
However, they get to be superstars, even if it's only for a while. If someone wrote a movie script and included many actual events from past tournaments, people would deem the script unbelievable.
For example, who could have figured that 17-point favorite Georgetown, the reigning national champions, would lose to Villanova in 1985's title game? Villanova squeaked into the tourney and were said by most experts to have no chance. But someone forgot to tell the Wildcats.
They proceeded to hit a mind-boggling 22 of 28 from the field to edge the Hoyas for the national championship.
Or how about great individual performances like in 1988, when Danny Manning led Kansas to the Crown? The Jayhawks had Manning and four nobodies. No other contributor on that Kansas team spent more than a few months in the NBA. But thanks to Manning's heroics, they beat a talent-laden Oklahoma team to claim the title.
These are just a couple of examples why I absolutely love March Madness. To me there is no other sporting event that even comes close. I have no idea who will win. None of us really do, but I do know it will be fun to watch.
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