I love when there’s no perfect bracket…upsets and 2nd round exits are blamed for the smell of burning scrolls….But what can’t be denied is that the month of March is an opportunity for a group of young guys to put their campus and sometimes an entire city on their back
2012 NCAA Tourney was exciting for a quite a few reasons. But here’s a few things that I’ll specifically recall about it
1) 1 small school will always advance over a top seed: When I say small, I’m talking about a school you have to ask Google where it is…NIU, VCU, George Mason…and now, Norfolk State and Lehigh have thrusted their basketball programs into that next stratosphere…VCU’s run last year was so inspiring that they had to run Shaka Smart some more money in his contract! When you’re doing a bracket, many matchups are no brainers…although this tourney proved that there’s no trick or science to picking what small school you should go w/…for me, I looked at defensive output over the course of a season.
2) ACC teams will damn near give you a stroke: In my bracket, I had UNC vs Ohio State and UK vs Louisville for the Final 4…I’d guess that probably 95% of bracketeers had UNC and UK in the Final 4…when I watched FSU beat Duke twice, I expected them to make it to the elite 8 w/ Ohio State stopping their run…then, UNC was the most complete team in the ACC until Kendall Marshall got injured! The different between college sports and pro sports is when 1 key member of the team is missing, the entire dynamic is thrown off….and you only have 1 game (w/ 2 days of practice) to get it right. The irony is, ACC teams usually get the easier tourney match ups…so when they do take that early L, you really don’t even know what to say or how to process it.
3) Upsets are like banging a hot chick on vacation: Upsets can frustrate and debunk the energy around March Madness…on the flip, a well-executed upset is what March Madness is all about…they usually only happen for 1 team per season and when it does, you have to respect that team of nobodies…same way, you meet a 10 on South Beach, knowing damn well on your best day you’re a 7 that can catch a 7…when the confirmation of “I got that” comes, your boys hail you as the man…until ya’ll return home to a sea of 7s
4) Cinderellas do not repeat: refer back to #1…rosters change year to year due to student-athletes entering the draft. they transfer schools, or become ineligible the following season…so you can never ride w/ 1 team the following year simply b/c they did well the previous year (Butler may be the only exception)
5) Rankings matter, but you should know something more than that about the teams: Cincy was slept on throughout the year…I mean, you’d be hard-pressed to find someone outside the state of Ohio that can honestly say they watched more than 2 games…but the Bearcats made it to the Sweet 16 before being beaten by Sullinger and co…they also beat higher ranked teams L’ville, Syracuse and FSU…b/c the Big EAST was so enamored w/ Syracuse’s run, Cincy fell under the radar…they’re not a specifically great shooting team, but their defense (to be a Big East team) is pretty impressive
Anything you learned or will remember about this year’s tourney?