Monday, March 16, 2009
Maryland is in! I was worried watching the selection show after they announced Arizona. There were only so many at large bids and so many bubble teams. But after what seemed like forever, Maryland was announced as a 10 seed. I was pretty happy with this. I thought we'd probably be more like an 11 or 12 seed. Whatever, the Terps are going back to the Tourney.
Now it's time to fill out brackets, speculate on upsets and wait for Thursday when we can all start blowing off class, work, and everything else because of the wonders of technology. The first weekend of March Madness is one of the best if not possibly the best sports event of the year. Again I'm biased as to what time of year it is when claiming this and which of my teams happen to be playing in the post season. But regardless of my personal seasonal penchants, how can you not love March Madness.
Every team really has a chance to win. Yes, it's an outside chance, yes, a 16 seed has never beaten a 1 seed, but it's possible. Everyone can have hope. The lowest seed to ever win a tournament was an 8 seed. That's a team that's predicted to be right in the middle of the pack, and they won. A few years ago, George Mason, an 11 seed made it to the Final Four. So while it seems unlikely that Maryland as a 10 seed is going to do a lot of damage, it's still completely possible. Maryland is the kind of emotional team that could make a huge run or completely fall flat in the first game.
At this time of year some people try to argue that the tournament should be expanded to let in a few more of the bubble teams. I don't like this idea. I love the 65 team format. I could do without the play in game, but the having teams on the bubble is part of what makes it fun. Not everyone should get in. But you should let some of the lesser/smaller teams in because that's what leads to great upsets and all the excitement. Making the tournament smaller would take away from the excitement.
Even if Maryland was on the other side of the bubble, I still wouldn't want to change the format. I would want to drive to Indianapolis and hurt a few people; but, that's the committee's fault, not the tournament set-up. Don't change a thing. This tournament is just about perfect. People just want something to complain about.
So enjoy the next few days of dissecting the bracket. I won't bore you with my picks, unless they turn out to be really good, then I'll gloat a little. Remember, fear the turtle.