Sunday, March 11, 2012
The day is finally here. For me, it is one of my favorite days of the year. All the watching of games since November is finally going to be rewarded with a bracket, compliments of Greg Gumbel and the boys at CBS. The NCAA Tournament is sure to be exciting, but the process of getting there has been amazing too. We have seen so many great things in college basketball this year, and it is only going to get better. This week is also special for those smaller conferences as teams fight to get in and celebrate that they made it to the Big Dance. It is cool to see all the blood, sweat, and tears bring 68 teams to the tournament in a single elimination thriller that is always a thrill to watch.
The conference tournaments have been exciting, and today some of the big ones are coming to a conclusion with A10, Big Ten, SEC, and ACC tournament titles being settled. The whole week has been filled with analysis/banter/debate on who should be in or out. Analysts debate the credentials of certain teams, but I think these debates sometimes are pointless. In my mind, the committee simply has to put the best at large teams in the field. They can crunch numbers and look at RPI and SOS, but I think it really should come down to picking who they think are the best teams in that group. They always talk about who they played and beat and their body of work, but I do not feel like they take into account just how good they play as a team and what their players contribute on the court. Too much is made of all these computer numbers, but rarely do they consider the players and how they play. They almost make the teams robotic instead of actually watching the games to see exactly how they look on the court instead of just a final score. In my opinion, if a team like say, Vanderbilt, loses to Kentucky by 3 but beats someone like Arkansas by 5, which is more impressive? That is a tough call, but I'd say the Kentucky one is more impressive even though it was a loss. The tough part about this one, though, is that losses do matter. You can't have a 13 or 14 loss team in the tournament that had close losses to good teams.
My blogging took a rest also in part because of the extensive coverage I will provide for the NCAA Tournament. There is so much analysis to be done and I can't wait for it to begin. I have watched a lot of hoops this year and feel ready to discuss the bracket one it is unveiled at 5 p.m. central time today. Let the fun begin with these conference championships today. It is sure to be a great day for college basketball with the Selection Show.