Pure Bedlam

You know why today is so great? Because nobody knows what the hell is going to happen. You don’t. I don’t. Even college basketball analysts who are paid to know –  they don’t know. Not really. Not with any accuracy. It’s one of the only things in sports that’s truly, consistently unpredictable.

The Super Bowl this year was a surprise. The underdog won. But there were plenty of people predicting the Broncos D would carry them to a win. Nobody in 2012 was predicting that Lehigh would beat Duke. Or that Mercer would do them 2 years later.

You could find people predicting that Nate Diaz would beat Conor McGregor. Nobody in 1993 was popping off about Santa Clara doing Arizona.

Personally-  I work in sports for a living, I’ve interviewed several of the coaches in this tournament- I have unique insight to what might happen and my bracket is always jacked up: always wrong. Because everyone’s always are. The college basketball “bracketologists” on TV who do nothing but live, breathe and eat college hoops 12 months a year… Their picks are just as slashed up by round 2 pretty much like any dude in a cubicle.

That’s why the tournament rules. It’s bedlam.

And yet. We’re still missing the crown jewel of that bedlam. We still haven’t gotten to watch in awe as a 1-seed walks off the floor while a 16 celebrates. I can’t lie – I’d love to see it. Other than the 12 kids and 6 coaches who get beaten and get asked about it for the rest of their lives… Who wouldn’t love to see it? If March madness is the best event in sports, give us the best upset in sports. If it’s the bat-bleepiest time of the year, give us the head-exploding moment that turns twitter to dust.

The NCAA tournament is an incomplete masterpiece. And I don’t buy this idea that “it’s never going to happen. “oh it’s going to happen.” It’s come too close, too many times not to.

The question is- is it going to happen this year? I know this – it’d be perfect timing. Because it might be the most beatable group of one-seeds the bracket has ever seen- that’s just a fact. Kansas, Virginia, Oregon and North Carolina have 23 losses between them. That’s the most in history. And it’s nearly twice as many as last year. And hoops has never been crazier than this year. It’s giant-slaying season all year long. 80 losses by top 10 teams.

And the deeper we get into era of 1 and done, the more likely a 16 is going to do a 1. Because what do most 16s have- crazy chemistry and years of experience. The reason their 16s to begin with is they don’t have guys who are going to go pro. They’ve been playing together for 3-4 years. And then might run into a 1 with guys who have been playing together for 5-6 months.

16 seeds don’t have any experience in the tournament? Neither do 18-year olds. How are you going to tell me a 16’s never going to do it? Seven 15s have done it. There’s very little difference.

Especially in a year when nobody can stay on top. Virginia knows – they were down to 16-seededd coastal Carolina deep into the 2nd half just a couple of years ago.

Fact is, if it wasn’t for Alonzo Mourning blocking about 12 shots in 5 seconds against Pete Carril’s Princeton team, this would have happened way back in the 80s.

And I can’t lie – I hope it happens this year. Shouting out to Austin Peay, Holy Cross, Gulf Coast and Hampton. Shock the world and make us proud.

The NCAA tournament is an incomplete masterpiece. We need somebody to step up and pull off the ultimate madness. And I’d love to see a bunch of guys who are headed for the NBA…losing to a bunch of guys headed to the YMCA.



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