March Madness. Joy. Hope. Tears. Buzzer beaters. Alley oops. Tomahawk jams. Behind-the-back assists. Hustle. Upsets. Twelve beats five. Glory. One and done, lose, and your out of the dance. Yes, the best team doesn’t always win. This is the most spectacular three weeks in sports. And the most unpredictable. For the tournament committee, there are always missteps. Some teams’ bubble bursts prematurely. A mid-major gets seeded wrong.
Yet, this year I wonder if we missed it on a grand scale. Witchita State marched through the season with a 31-4 record. The reward? An eleven seed. Saint Mary finished at 29-5 (two losses to the Number One Ranked Zags). Seven seed. Wisconsin broke the defending champ’s hearts. Eight seed.
More parody leads to unpredictability. Through the years, the selection process and rules have been tweaked and adjusted. The committee now has so many rules to follow that seeding has become an impossible puzzle to solve. Seed lines. Conference challenges. Multiple rounds. Geographic considerations. I’d instead work on a Rubik’s Cube. One has to wonder if someone needs to step back and take a hard look at what went right and wrong this year. Look at the bracket from the thousand-foot level. Or, just be content that the best game in the tournament may happen in the second round. That was a wild ride, Wildcats and Shockers. For the effort, both teams deserve to be crowned champions.
- And the band plays on, still complicated. Like anything, someone has to be on the short end of the stick.
- The picture is digital art of a kid dunking a basketball in the blazing sun, computer generated.