Let The Madness Begin!!
By WC Peters
It is here, starting Thursday at noon the NCAA Tournament begins. Sure there are four games beforehand in Dayton, but really who outside of the degenerates watches those games? Thursday marks the start of the tournament and the return of Tru TV. Outside of March, does anyone watch Tru TV? Better yet, can anyone tell me off the top of their head which channel Tru TV is? The tournament itself is awesome. It’s three weeks of wall to wall basketball. The opening two rounds are arguably the best weekend in sports. The problem with the tournament is the studio coverage. Charles, Kenny, and Ernie are great on NBA games, but they obviously are scrambling and not well read on the college games. Having games on three different channels really stretches the studio analysts thin and it shows. The in-game play by play and color analysts are awesome for every game, especially the team of Jim Nantz, Grant Hill, and Billy Rafferty, who coincidentally call the Final Four games, as they should. Rafferty is awesome with his catchphrases that he yells out such as “Onions”, or “Man to Man” which sounds like one word, and “Nickel Dimer”. I’m looking to the call of the games as much as I am the actual games.
This tournament could be as wide open as any in recent memory. There are about a half a dozen teams that legitimately could win the whole thing. Two of the teams, Xavier and Gonzaga, have real shots at the Final Four. The only problem is only one will make it since they are in the same region. The first round will be what it is. There will be an upset or two and everyone’s bracket will be busted. The second round is where there are potentially two games I am looking forward too, Arizona vs Kentucky in the South Region and West Virginia vs Witchita State in the East Region. Both of these games should be great games. UA vs UK will have future NBA talent all over the court, and WVU vs the Shockers will match two of the best coaches in the country head to head. The bottom half of the South Region, barring an upset will be represented by Tennessee or Cincinnati in the Elite Eight. I am really looking forward to an exciting first weekend of the tournament and then get settled in for the Sweet Sixteen and beyond until a champion is crowned on April 2nd in San Antonio, Texas.
On a side note, I picked Virginia to win the National Championship and Erin, my wife, has picked Duke to win the National Championship. We are part of a neighborhood bracket challenge, The Sasquatch Invitational, and you can rest assured that neither of those teams will win the title since we picked them.
The tournament starts, in my opinion, the greatest stretch in sports of the year. The tournament will run the next three weekends, and then the greatest golfers in the world will tee it up in Augusta at the Masters. After the Masters concludes, Major League Baseball has their opening days all over the league. Lastly, at the end of April, the NFL Draft will take place in Fort Worth, Texas, which is always filled with a whole lot of drama. I personally am looking forward to all of these events because they bring drama and most importantly, they signal the beginning of summer.