April 10th, 2013



The End of March Madness... Well Into April

So, Louisville was creamed in the NCAA Championship game, 93-60.

What, you thought I was talking about Men's Basketball? No, that was won by Louisville on Monday night. Tuesday night was all about the UConn Lady Huskies. I'm sure some will complain about UConn winning again, that it's always the same teams over and over again. But really, the 2013 Women's tournament had some real spectacular games. I missed all but a few minutes of the Louisville win over Baylor, but both ESPN and NPR were referring to it as the greatest upset victory in basketball. And then Louisville took out one of my favorite teams, the Tennessee Lady Vols. And Notre Dame has beaten UConn like three times this season, except when it counted. Some exceptional basketball, great talent and a lot of fast breaks up and down and up and down the court.

I know the women don't get the respect and the ratings that the men do, but kudos to ESPN/ESPN2 for giving them the coverage and taking it seriously.

As for the Men's tournament, my brackets and re-brackets were blown away time and time again. Wisconsin over Georgetown in the Final? Never going to happen. The Big 10 had a lot of representation, but they fell by the wayside, leaving the wrong Big 10 team from Michigan in the championship, where they lost. Some wonderful upsets and gosh, dare we dream that Wichita State could make it to the final? Well, Final Four had to be good enough.

I've said before, I don't follow basketball very much, college or pro, but somehow the NCAA March Madness and it's one-and-done sudden death attrition has some great appeal to me. An overload of games the first weekend, and then a steady dropoff in the number of games, even as the intensity picks up.

NPR's Morning Edition had a nice piece the other day pointing out the "magic" of the Final Four -- in no other sport does making the semi-finals have the cachet of the NCAA Final Four in basketball. They even ditched the old Third-Place game in favor of keeping the narrowing brackets to a final single concluding game. But part of their point is that while 64, er, 68 teams make the big dance on the Men's side, there are over 300 D-I programs competing, so getting into the top four is a much smaller percentage than say being the one best MLB baseball team out of thirty.

So the Final Four is a giddy goal to be sure. And something I manage to look forward to every year.

Good games. Good year.

Now on to baseball and summer movies and other passing fancies...

Dr. Phil