March Madness Takes the Cake


Basketball is my favorite sport. I started playing the game when I was in third grade, and I eventually grew tired of playing the sport of by the time my junior year of high school rolled around. However, I never grew tired of watching the game and the event that excites me the most is the NCAA Tournament. I mean, it’s referred to as March Madness because of all the crazy things that happen and I would much rather sit down and watch a Cinderella team come out of nowhere to steal the show than watch the NBA Playoffs.

Sure, the NBA Championship pitted the best two teams in the league against each other this past season with the Golden State Warriors taking on the Cleveland Cavaliers. However, it was pretty boring at the start. Golden State jumped out to a nice 3-1 lead, and it looked like there was no hope for the LeBron James led squad. Obviously the Cavs dug themselves out of a hole to claim the title, and the Game 7 was captivating. But that’s really the only thing that mattered — Game 7 — a winner take all scenario and that’s what I love about college basketball.

The Warriors had the luxury of losing three games in a row, but to be honest, I much rather would have seen one single game where both teams had to play their hearts out.

The NCAA Tournament allows for smaller schools to make a big, dramatic impact, something that the NBA Playoffs pretty much eliminate, because it allows the “supposed to be better teams” to have plenty of other chances.

I don’t think Michigan State would have lost three more games to Middle Tennessee, but the Spartans failed to beat a 15-seed when they were a 2-seed, so why should they be given another shot to take down a team that has far less experience than they do? (I’ll give you hint, they don’t deserve another shot.)

Aside from the postseason that I enjoy more in college basketball, I think the fact that the players are more or less around the same age makes it for a more even playing ground — one that is more competitive.

These college players have a lot on the line. They are trying to impress NBA scouts, because a good majority of them will want to play at the next level. They only have those four years to make a name for themselves. In the NBA, those players are receiving paycheck after paycheck. They have their contracts, their guaranteed money and if they lose they’re still getting paid at the end of the day.

This past year’s NCAA Championship match between Villanova and North Carolina was my favorite game of the entire year (NBA, NFL, college football, etc.). Watching Marcus Paige down a three pointer for UNC to tie the game at 74 each made it seem like it was going to go into overtime. Then Kris Jenkins made sure that wasn’t going to happen when he hit the game winning three pointer at the buzzer, and Villanova came out on top 77-74.

That game is the perfect example of college basketball. Two highly ranked teams going at it to be crowned champion. I honestly don’t think that game winning three pointer would have been as memorable had it been in a best-of-seven scenario.

I covered the Runnin’ Utes’ short run in the NCAA tournament this past season. Gonzaga handily beat Utah in the second round of the tournament, but college basketball allows for schools to compete against other teams they wouldn’t normally face. It allows for any team to make it all the way.

I’ll continue to watch both postseason events, and I’ll enjoy every minute of it. But I’ll enjoy March much more than May and June.

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