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March Madness Is Over-Hyped And Overrated

Thoughts written while angrily penciling in another obnoxious bracket

Wouldn't it be great if tonight's "First Four" games didn't mark the beginning of a month-long tournament that captivates the nation each year, but was rather simply a meeting of two above average teams at a neutral location that signified the end of the season for both the winner and the loser?

And wouldn't it also be great if there were, like, 30 more of these games?

Wouldn't you love to have to wait around for another three weeks to watch a pair of teams that haven't played in so long that you've forgotten most of their players' names duke it out in the only game that has any bearing on who wins the national championship?

And you know all those computers out there predicting the winners for each game in the big dance? Wouldn't it be great if those same computers actually had a major impact on which two teams were selected to play in the aforementioned title game?

Wouldn't it have been great if Shaka Smart and VCU had played one game against USC last year instead of winning five games in two weeks to make a miracle appearance in the Final Four?

Don't you just love not really knowing who the national champion is at the end of the season, or the fact that even if you think you do, someone can make a legitimate case for another team and you can't really say anything compelling outside of "my team would have beaten your team?"

Remember how Kentucky was ranked second in the preseason poll and Syracuse was ranked 5th? Wouldn't it be great if the Wildcats were chosen to play for the national championship over the Orange for that reason alone?

Don't you hate having multiple games to choose from at all hours for four days straight? I mean enough is enough, right?

Weren't you stunned when North Carolina lost by ten to UNLV in November? Wouldn't it have been sweet if the Tar Heels had been forced to play for the next two and-a-half months with the full knowledge that their chances of winning a sixth national title had already been crushed?

Don't you love the laid-back postseason atmosphere of a three-quarters empty stadium in mid-to-late December?

Is Murray State really one of the best teams in the country even though they play in a lightly regarded, non-power conference? There's only one way to find out: a single game against another team that also may or may not be one of the best in the country.

Shouldn't Wichita State have to go through more to win a national title than teams like Duke, Kansas and Kentucky simply because those three schools have won more championships and made more money for the NCAA in the past?

Didn't you hate that Boise State Fiesta Bowl game a few years back? Aren't you glad they didn't get to play another, more important game afterward?

Eight-word message to college basketball: obscure sponsors in the title of every game.

Can't we all agree that Louisville was a better team than NC State in 1983, and that the sports world would be a much better place had Lorenzo Charles never set foot on that Albuquerque floor 29 years ago?

Don't you love arguing over which conference is the strongest for multiple months and then never really getting the chance to have your position backed up or shot down because of unbalanced postseason ties?

Don't you just hate March?

Wake me when it's time for the San Diego County Credit Union Poinsettia Bowl.