Some things have expectations so high, that anything less is a disappointment. March Madness is one of those things. Entering the tournament, everyone fills out their bracket with a blind hope that this will be the year Warren Buffett will be sending them a giant check for a billion dollars. Analysts talk incessantly about shit they have no control over, ESPN constantly builds hype with a 24 hour Tournament special, Bilas whines about the committee, and they laugh with John Calipari because he is such a wonderful personality supposedly.
This year had the same buzz as always. Coming off of a tournament like last year’s, buzz is easy. Throw in many interesting matchups and teams, and this year had the looks of being huge yet again. But now it is Sunday, most of opening weekend is in our rearview mirror, and I am left feeling empty inside. Luckily I had friends and beer in the bracket bunker because otherwise the disappointment I am feeling from this tournament is similar to that of a child losing a pet. Here are some reasons in particular this year’s tournament sucks.
You better know what I am talking about. If not, I included a link. If you disagree that this is the worst call in the history of mankind, then I can’t talk to you for a little while, and we might have to fight. Did Seton Hall sort of fuck this game away? Yeah I would have to fight myself if I didn’t think that. But still, it is not up to the refs to make sure they are punished for their fuckery. This is the worst thing that has happened in the world of officiating since Jim Joyce stole Armando Galarraga’s perfect game. I am still not over this call. It is so sad to me that refs have the power to win a game for a team. Every Time I heard someone say “oh, Arkansas won,” my blood boiled and I wanted to say “no no. The Pirates didn’t lose it, the Razorbacks didn’t win it. the game should just be replayed.” Wow this sucked
2. Unfortunate endings for some fantastic seniors
This year’s senior classes included a lot of fantastic players across college basketball. In particular, Nova, Notre Dame, and Iowa State are all losing players that were some of the most important in their respective histories. Nova lost to “8 seed” Wisconsin. With that, Josh Hart, Kris Jenkins, and Darryl Reynolds graduate. That is the winningest class in the history of Villanova basketball. They lost in the round of 32 to an underseeded team that was seventh in the nation at one point. That’s cruel. Notre Dame graduates a class of VJ Beachem and Steve Vasturia. Beachem was a big part of the back-to-back Elite 8 runs for the Fighting Irish. Vasturia is a guy that Mike Brey called one of the best players in the history of ND basketball. They drew West Virginia in the Round of 32 and simply could not figure out the Mountaineers. Mostly because it is impossible to prepare for WVU in one day. Finally, Iowa State graduates Montae Morris, Deonte Burton, Matt Thomas, and Naz Long. So basically everyone. Especially Morris, who is one of the most sure-handed point guards in the history of college basketball. They made an amazing comeback against Purdue because they realized they were better and faster than Purdue, but they were not rewarded with victory. Tough all around. All of these guys deserved better endings to their careers.
*disclaimer: I said Matt Farrell was graduating earlier. He is not. Bodes very well for the Notre Dame program.
3. No upsets
Day 1’s only upset was Xavier. Middle Tennessee was favored over Minnesota because they suck. Day 2 gave us USC over SMU, which was kinda big, but also Andy Enfield is some kind of March savant so maybe not. Yesterday gave us the biggest upset of the tournament with Wisco over national defending champion Villanova. Are you fucking kidding me? How cruel can the gods be. Don’t even try to tell me Wisconsin is an 8 seed. That team is a Final Four lock. It took Duke/Nova in MSG from us, and it booted the classiest program in America out before anyone was ready to see them go. Just cruel.
4. bad endings to good games
Marquette and South Carolina was a fantastic basketball game for 35 minutes. Look at the final score. SC won by 20. Virginia and UNC Wilmington didn’t end in someone from UNC W turning into a seahawk and doing a full court dunk. Wichita State and Dayton ended with a difference of six points. The only treat we got was Juwan Evans meaninglessly covering the spread with a three at the buzzer. But, that’s not even good from a basketball standpoint. It’s just fun to watch all the people that had Michigan -2.5.
Whatever it was, we need to do something as a human race to get back in the good graces of the basketball gods. It is obvious they are not pleased with us. Send prayers to the god of bucket-getters everywhere, Dion Waiters. Sacrifice a NeverFlat for a show of humility before the peach basket forefathers.