This year's NCAA Tournament was, to put it mildly, a little disappointing. The fact that the only first round upsets were two 11 seeds over 6 seeds (a 9 seed over an 8 seed doesn't count no matter how badly you wanted BYU to win), takes away from the fun. The subsequent rounds weren't much better as the lowest seed in the Sweet 16 was 7-seeded UNLV, who once they, along with Butler and Southern Illinois, were knocked out, left no one to cheer for. Ohio State's disgusting comeback over Xavier pretty much summed it up. To give some perspective, last year in the ESPN.com NCAA Tournament Challenge a total of four people out of 3 million participants correctly predicted the Final Four which consisted of UCLA, Florida, LSU and George Mason (seeds 2, 3, 4 and 11). This year's Final Four (two 1 seeds and two 2 seeds) was picked by 161,000 people. Sure, Kansas fans were happy to finally see their team get out of the first round after losing to 13 seed Bradley last year and 14 seed Bucknell the year before. But what about the rest of us? Give us our upsets!
I don't mean to sound too bitter. The tournament wasn't all bad. There were some close games with exciting finishes, and a rematch of the College Football BCS Championship Game was kind of interesting particularly now that Florida owns Ohio State. It could have been worse. Duke or North Carolina could have won. It's hard to hate Florida. I think it's admirable that their starters stuck around for another year. Although, I can't get past how much Joakim Noah looks like a girl, specifically Lisa Bonet (Denise Huxtable from The Cosby Show).
One positive about the tournament turned out to be the NBA's new rule barring players from entering the draft straight from high school. One year and done isn't a whole lot better, but don't doubt for a minute that Ohio State would rather have had one year's services from Greg Oden than none. The same goes for Kevin Durant and Texas. Plus, in looking ahead to the NBA Draft, I can actually say that I know who the top players are.
As for CBS's coverage of the tournament, I guess I would say it was the same as always. I got tired of Greg Gumbel. Clark Kellogg is OK. Seth Davis should stay away from television and stick to writing. Jim Nantz was as solid as ever and while I don't much care for Billy Packer, I'll take him over Bill Raftery any day. Seriously, how in the world does CBS put up with that guy and they way he calls basketball games? He's been described as "a border collie with Tourette Syndrome." I've decided he's worse than Bill Walton, but I'm not sure if he's worse than Dick Vitale. That's a toss up. I think I'd give the annoyance edge to Vitale because while he and Raftery are both morons with frequent spurts of mind-numbing garble spewing from their mouths, Vitale's voice is grating even when he's not saying something stupid, as rare as that may be. Fear the day if ESPN (Vitale's employer) ever gets broadcast rights to the tournament.
2 months ago