In a mere few hours, I will be glued to my television set to watch the 2011 NCAA Final Four. I have no huge diehard interest in any of the four teams, but instead love the event itself. I could care less which four teams are matched up, or that there are no number one or two seeds represented. I could care less that this is the lowest combined seed total in the history of the tournament or that there are no McDonald’s All-Americans present in the first game. I care that after a fantastic season of college basketball, there are four teams standing with a chance to cut down the nets on Monday evening as One Shinning Moment plays in the background.
I try to avoid sports talk radio at all costs, usually getting frustrated by the ignorance of some of the callers. One common theme I heard this week was how the NCAA should “re-seed the tournament,“ for the Final Four, so that the top two seeds this year, Kentucky and Connecticut, don’t have to face each other in the semifinal, while the other two low seeded teams, Butler and VCU, get to face off in the other semifinal, with one having a chance to play for the championship. Can someone please give me a GOOD reason why this is a bad thing? The tournament brackets are completed on Selection Sunday, and should be left alone from there. Reseeding the tournament for the Final Four in my opinion would be a ridiculous activity.
To say I am traditionalist or a purist would be an understatement. I have a hard time with chance and getting use to things that are different and out of the norm. It will be probably take me several years to get use to the NCAA Tournament field expanding to its current format of 68 teams. But as VCU proved, it works and those teams still have a fighting chance also.
Major League Baseball is by far my favorite sport to watch and follow, but not even the World Series can hold a candle to the NCAA Tournament. The excitement and passion shown for those few weeks is unmatched by any other. I only wish NCAA Football could take a hint and follow the lead. Tonight, four teams dream will be dwindled down to two. And no matter who is playing or how the games go, my eyes will be glued to the TV. The calendar may say April, but March Madness is still in full swing.
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by Pitcher Red Barrett