Leave Well Enough Alone

For some odd reason people always want to change something that does not need changing. Married with Children added some little kid in its final years as did the Brady Bunch, both completely unnecessary. If some analysts and talking heads have there way the same could be done to the best tournament in college sports, the NCAA March Madness.

For some odd reason some folks think it is a good idea to expand the tournament from its current 65 team format to as many as 96. To be honest, I have yet to here a more compelling argument than the dollar signs that will come with extended television coverage of a longer tournament. I would like to present an argument against expanding the tournament- Day One of the 2010 NCAA March Madness Tournament.

Teams that were expected to cruise did just that (Kentucky, Kansas, and Kansas State) while some that were expected to cruise did the exact opposite with a fair share of upsets along the way. Basketball powerhouse and #3 seed Georgetown was soundly defeated by lowly #14 seeded Ohio by 14, 97-83.

Many people prior to Thursday night probably did not know that there was basketball played in Kentucky somewhere other than KU. Ask anyone from Vanderbilt and they will sadly say yes. #4 seed Vanderbilt saw there March Madness dreams ended a lot sooner than expected with a 1 point loss to #13 seed Murray State, 66-65.

It was definitely a bad day to be seeded #6. Notre Dame had a 6 point lead at halftime, only to lose by a point to #11 seed Old Dominion. Marquette had their hands full with #11 Washington early on and was only able to take a 1 point lead into the half only to lose by two.

Three overtime games, including one double overtime game, gave fans there money’s worth as well. Texas (#8 seed) finally had the pain end as they completed their swoon from being ranked #1 in the land to a first round exit courtesy of a 1 point loss to #9 seed Wake Forest, 81-80 in overtime. Villanova (#2 seed) staged a valiant comeback to force overtime with #15 seed Robert Morris to eventually win by 3. BYU (#7 seed) needed two overtime periods before they were able to end Florida’s journey into Madness.

Those in favor of expanding the tournament will likely use the same argument and claim that there will be more upsets and more close games with an expanded format. They will fail to add, however, that it will not be until the second round of play. The tournament already has the best teams in the land playing in it, so why add mediocrity to the mix and effectively cheapen the journey?

The play in game is already an example of just that. This year you had one team that had an 11 game losing streak and another who started the season 5-9. It was somewhat of a surprise that the team with the 11 game losing streak won, but when both teams were not that good to begin with who cares?

Let’s not turn college basketball ball into any more of a business than it already is. Let’s just leave well enough alone.

Beer: Tallgrass Buffalo Sweat from the Tallgrass Brewing Company- what makes this stout such a unique beer is the surprising smoothness of it. Brewed with cream sugar, this dark beer is rich and complex and much easier to drink thank most dark beers. At 5%ABV you will be able to enjoy these while watching the game without getting to tipsy (the only problem may be having to go to the bathroom too much).

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