It’s that time
of year again, when
every basketball game played could be the most important game of the
year for each team involved. March Madness
got its name because of the magnitude of the games played in the month
of March. Conference seasons have come to
an end and teams are jockeying for seeds in their conference
tournaments. Winning your conference
tournament guarantees you a spot in the field of 65 for the NCAA
tournament. It doesn’t matter if you were
2-28 in the regular season and your team plays in the Big Sky
conference. All it takes is a four game
winning streak in the conference tournament and you are granted a bid
to the dance.
That bid, in that
scenario, would probably
guarantee your team a number 16 seed that would be asked to play a
number 1 seed. Or even worse, play in the
65 vs. 64 play-in game, win that game, and then have to play a number 1
seed. Oh by the way, a 16 seed has never
beaten a number 1 seed in the history of the tournament. There
are several people that have a problem with
the automatic bids given to conference tourney winners. I don’t
have a problem with it, I believe those
automatic bids are what make March madness what it is.
The underdog is what
makes the tournament great. Sure the number 8 team in the ACC
probably beat the 16 and 15 seeds given to the winners of the lower
level and mid-major conferences, but does that mean those teams don’t
deserve the opportunity to make it to the NCAA tournament? The
best thing about the big dance is watching your
favorite team play their best basketball of the year and win 6 straight
games and go home NCAA champions. That
scenario usually only happens to a few teams from the top conferences.
What about the other 300 or so division I schools, their dreams lie
first in making the NCAA tournament and then seeing how far they can
I can remember when
was a senior at Miami of Ohio when he took them to the sweet 16.
CBS did a special on Wally and he was getting
standing ovations in class during the tournament. The
students and fans of Miami knew that they weren’t contenders for the
title, but they were enjoying the ride. That’s
what the tournament is all about and that is what is special about
automatic bids. Without those bids, teams
like Miami (OH) and Southern IL would never make the tournament.
So let the games began, while the brand name
teams such as UCONN and Duke fight for their chance to win it all,
others like Bradley and Winthrop will be fighting to put their team on
the map and become the next mid-major to become a household name, the
next Gonzaga if you will.
Let the games begin!