Friday, March 24, 2006

Tarnishing the NCAA Tournament Halo

The Sweet 16, the penultimate round in the NCAA men's basketball tournament, is upon us, and if last night's games are any indication it's gonna be a hell of a weekend. Favorites Duke and Gonzaga were sent packing and underdog fan fave Bradley was thumped by Memphis.

Slate's Jacob Leibenluft does a terrific job of tarnishing the tournament's halo. He notes that while many of us love to root for small programs like Bradley and George Mason (which knocked off my fave Carolina last weekend and faces Wichita State tonight), there's plenty of dirt under their sneakers and any talk of the emergence of these little guys being some sort of return to innocence is pure, unadulterated bunk.


highwayscribery said...

Aw heck, I've gotta get past the "filter" so these big media elites don't undermine all the time I'm wasting watching this thing.

I'm gonna say pooh!

Of course mid-sized college coaches are predatory. This is America and that's the ugly side of your free market at work. Newt Gingrich never said it was pretty. He just insisted it worked.

Even with all the scribe's euro-socialist pretensions he's pretty at ease with the fact college basketball's a business.

and he don't know about basketball players, but he hung out with a bunch of preppy white boys in college and a goodly percentage of them failed the gauntlet, too; sidelined by the same stuff the tall guys do, too much freedom too fast, easy booze and more.

Go Bruins!

Shaun Mullen said...

As Tom Wolfe's Charlotte Simmons might say, "I can relate." Me too, Scribe.

I watch the NCAA tournament with eyes wide open even though the sports punditocracy squints and declares the whole thing a return to innocence.

Go Villanova! (A number of whose players, we learned after the 1985 NCAA championship upset of Georgetown, were playing high on cocaine.)