Blowing the whistle on all the Madness

col-tbuzz (2)The college basketball season comes to a close tonight with the most unlikely of matchups – No. 7 Connecticut vs. No. 8 Kentucky.

Pretty unbelievable if you are among the millions who won’t be receiving a billion-dollar check from Warren Buffett after your bracket was busted before the start of the Not-So Sweet 16. But if you really think about, chaos is really the only thing that makes sense in March Madness.

It seems the same things that make the Big Dance so exciting are the same things that can ruin the rhythm of determining a true national champion. By inviting virtually anybody and everybody to the ball, the odds of party crashers slipping past the bouncers increases each round. From a pure mathematical standpoint, it was only a matter of time before we ended up with this final.

There’s nothing wrong with it for folks who like their tournament title games the same way they like their grapes – seedless. But there’s good reason for sour grapes for top-seeded teams that dominated their 30-game schedules only to pick a bad time to suffer a rare loss to a subpar team. It belittles the regular season and confuses the process of crowning a clear champion.

Take this Atypical Two. Neither team made the tournament last year – UConn due to a postseason ban for academic improprieties and Kentucky because, well, last year’s freshman class wasn’t as good as the previous and following years’ crops. They may not be the best two teams from this season, but they certainly represent a couple of disturbing trends in college basketball.

But a bigger issue may be changes in the game itself: College hoops has become a more athletic version of demolition derby, with quick guards repeatedly driving the paint, crashing into an opponent and drawing a foul. The refs can’t seem to stop from blowing their whistles whenever they see two players about to make contact, almost as if they are being paid by the foul call.

And it’s no longer the team that’s behind on the scoreboard that feel the need to foul late in close games. Now the teams that are ahead are also fouling in the final seconds to avoid being beat by a 3-pointer. With both teams employing the strategy of breaking one of basketball’s most basic rules, the critical moments of the games have become free-throw shooting contests.

Not exactly what Dr. James Neismith intended, but the end result is excitement: Closer games mean more upsets and TV ratings added to the madness. But sometimes the system yields a title game like this one and makes a mockery of a national championship. It might be a great game, but we could start the tournament over again tomorrow and it would yield a different matchup.

And maybe my bracket would fare better this time.

Comments

comments

Strand to host two-week holiday hoops-apalooza

Strand to host two-week holiday hoops-apaloozaChristmas Day is only eight days away, and you know [more]

Wrestling: WB takes Shark Duels; NMB wins Hampton

Wrestling: WB takes Shark Duels; NMB wins HamptonWest Brunswick, the lone North Carolina team in the tournament, [more]

Lady Chants hang tough against No. 23 Syracuse

Lady Chants hang tough against No. 23 SyracuseThe Coastal Carolina women's basketball team fell 69-57 to 23rd-ranked [more]

Richardson puts Panthers up for sale amid charges

Richardson puts Panthers up for sale amid chargesShortly after the Carolina Panthers scored a big 31-24 win [more]

Chants shut down Cavs; host Wake Forest Monday

Chants shut down Cavs; host Wake Forest MondayJaylen Shaw scored 23 points and Zac Cuthbertson added 22 [more]

Boys Hoops: Sharks win in 2OT; Chiefs drop nail-biter

Boys Hoops: Sharks win in 2OT; Chiefs drop nail-biterThe North Myrtle Beach High boys basketball team lost a [more]

Girls Hoops: Sharks, Chiefs roll; Tigers take tough loss

Girls Hoops: Sharks, Chiefs roll; Tigers take tough lossThe Conway High girls basketball team suffered its third straight [more]

Wrestling: Braves finish strong to beat Warriors

Wrestling: Braves finish strong to beat WarriorsThe Socastee High wrestling team captured a big win over [more]

Chants return from exams to face tough hoops tests

Chants return from exams to face tough hoops testsAfter taking a week off for final exams, the Coastal [more]

Hoops: Strand teams turn up D to win by blowouts

Hoops: Strand teams turn up D to win by blowoutsThe Myrtle Beach High girls basketball team turned in a [more]

North Myrtle Beach boys, girls sweep rival Socastee

North Myrtle Beach boys, girls sweep rival SocasteeThe North Myrtle Beach High girls basketball team captured its [more]

Wrestling: MB tops Foxes; NMB sweeps quad match

Wrestling: MB tops Foxes; NMB sweeps quad matchThe Myrtle Beach High boys wrestling team captured a hard-fought [more]

Boys Hoops: Tigers hold off Seahawks; Sharks win

Boys Hoops: Tigers hold off Seahawks; Sharks winThe Myrtle Beach High boys basketball team took its best [more]

Girls Hoops: MB settles score with rivals; CF rolls

Girls Hoops: MB settles score with rivals; CF rollsThe Myrtle Beach High girls basketball team got a little [more]

Coastal's Adams named Sun Belt player of week

Coastal's Adams named Sun Belt player of weekCoastal Carolina senior guard Jas Adams has been named the [more]

Conway QB Grainger puts end to recruiting process

Conway QB Grainger puts end to recruiting processConway High quarterback D'Wuan Grainger entered his senior season as [more]

Carolina Forest boys rush past Northwood Academy

Carolina Forest boys rush past Northwood AcademyThe Carolina Forest boys basketball team claimed its second victory [more]

Panthers in playoff hunt; Quigley sticks with Vikes

Panthers in playoff hunt; Quigley sticks with VikesThe Carolina Panthers find themselves back in the thick of [more]

Hoops tip off, wrestling caps busy sports week

Hoops tip off, wrestling caps busy sports weekThe Grand Strand prep sports scene has a busy week [more]

CAC skirts snow, heats up Snowflake Invite podium

CAC skirts snow, heats up Snowflake Invite podiumThe Coastal Aquatic Club (CAC) dodged a snowy weekend in [more]

Riptides dash through the Blizzard Blitz competition

Riptides dash through the Blizzard Blitz competitionSeven Riptide swimmers traveled to Cary, NC, over weekend to [more]

North team extends streak of dominance over South

North team extends streak of dominance over SouthThe North squad extended its streak of dominance in the [more]

Myrtle Beach boys, girls blast past Carolina Forest

Myrtle Beach boys, girls blast past Carolina ForestThe Myrtle Beach High boys and girls basketball teams blew [more]

Gamecocks survive scare from Chants at the buzzer

Gamecocks survive scare from Chants at the buzzerFormer Gamecock-turned-Chanticleer Jaylen Shaw missed a potential game-winning 3-pointer at [more]

Steele makes major splash at Winter Junior Nationals

Steele makes major splash at Winter Junior NationalsCarolina Forest senior and Coastal Aquatic Club swimmer Taylor Steele [more]

Strand to host two-week holiday hoops-apalooza

Strand to host two-week holiday hoops-apaloozaChristmas Day is only eight days away, and you know [more]

Wrestling: WB takes Shark Duels; NMB wins Hampton

Wrestling: WB takes Shark Duels; NMB wins HamptonWest Brunswick, the lone North Carolina team in the tournament, [more]

Comments are closed.

© 2017 Grand Strand Sports Report · RSS
Myrtle Beach Web Design
Kayaking in Myrtle Beach