If Men’s College Basketball had the same format as the College Football Playoff, the Final Four would be much better.
The best part about the Final Four in NCAA Basketball is that the Cinderella’s are gone, the underdog stories are over, and we get to see actual good teams play each other in real games as opposed to the silly gimmick leading up to it that’s March Madness…for the most part.
Unfortunately, too often, the NCAA Tournament is filled with crazy upsets that end up keeping the best four teams out of the Final Four.
The biggest reason college football is way better than college basketball is right here. The BCS format and now the College Football Playoff format are both far better ways to have a postseason than March Madness.
We want the postseason to be about the best teams playing each other.
In this year’s College Football Playoff, we got to see the epic game of Alabama against Ohio State in the Sugar Bowl. Who didn’t enjoy that game?
Then we got to see Florida State and Oregon, and although that game was a blowout, it was an entertaining collapse by Florida State that made for great theater.
Unfortunately, this year, the national championship wasn’t a good game because Oregon didn’t belong, and the real game was Alabama-Ohio State, but that was an anomaly.
Usually, the two best teams will play for that title. Remember the epic Florida State-Auburn game the year before?
What about the Auburn-Oregon game in 2011?
And then there was Texas-USC in 2006 and Miami-Ohio State in 2003.
Yes, there are sometimes dull games and sometimes blowouts, but at least when we see them we know it is happening between the two best teams on the same field with usually the most talent (Notre Dame in 2012 does not count).
March Madness runs the risk of that not happening in many cases.
This year, there are thankfully three No. 1 seeds who made it to the Final Four, which make it better than previous years. I’m excited to see Kentucky and Wisconsin battle. And hopefully I get to see Kentucky and Duke play for the title because they’re the two best teams.
That would be good basketball.
But I have no desire to celebrate Michigan State’s Final Four appearance. They didn’t deserve it.
Villanova was a far better team and clearly the fourth best team in the country, but a fluke upset loss to N.C. State that wouldn’t happen in 10 other tries sends the Spartans to a Final Four they don’t belong in.
Sorry Michigan State fans, but I would have much rather seen Villanova and Duke play. And I would never have wanted to run the risk of them having one bad game before getting to that point.
Unfortunately, this sad excuse for basketball allows for mediocre teams to get hot and win at any time because, unlike the NBA, college basketball sets itself up to benefit mediocrity and limit players with skills. It’s why you have stupid rules like a 35-second shot clock, a short three-point line, no defensive three seconds, one-and-one in the bonus, and the overuse of the charging call.
If college basketball changed the rules to make them identical to the NBA, and then if they got rid of the NCAA Tournament altogether and just did a playoff the way college football does, we could crown a true basketball champion.
Instead, I have to sit through three weeks of fans celebrating mediocrity because of one good 40-minute game.
Let’s stop celebrating the “one shining moment” that players get when they didn’t deserve to have that moment to begin with.