March Madness Redux: How could I have been so wrong?

I love being wrong.  It happens often enough, you’d think I’d be used to it by now.

I recently wrote a post questioning Cinderella stories and the parity within college basketball.

I wrote things like “a closer look at the field shows us that college basketball might not boast the parity we once thought” and “Cinderella doesn’t get to dance as often as we might think.”

What the hell was I thinking?

This March, the chalkboard has been thoroughly erased with only specks of dust remaining.  While brackets are routinely busted every March, this time around, most everyone’s brackets were tossed in the trash before the Final Four was even determined.

Raise your hand if you picked a single team out of this year’s Final Four.  I’ll pause while your hands remain firmly by your side.

You’d literally have to hold dual degrees from both VCU and Butler to even consider picking those teams in the Final Four and even then you’d probably talk yourself out of it for being too much of a homer.

And THAT is what makes March so maddening.  On any given afternoon, Virginia Commonwealth CAN beat Kansas, Butler CAN beat Pitt and teams that looked invincible all season long now have underclassmen eyeing the NBA draft.

I’m not bitter (for finishing near the bottom of every pool I entered).  If I had all the answers, I’d be sipping mai tais on a beach in Waikiki, and I don’t even know where Waikiki is.

What we have this year is a 3, 4, 8 and 11 seed in a Final Four that’s as unpredictable and unsexy as any tournament that’s ever been.  How can so many college basketball fans be so wrong?

Because it’s March, that’s why.

As a result, I would like to extend my most humble apologies to anyone who took the time to read my previous post, admitting I am man and sports fan enough to say that I have no idea what the hell I’m talking about.  And shame on all of you for not calling me out on my wrongness.

We can go on for hours about whether the NCAA tournament determines a true champion or whether it merely rewards the hottest college team over a six game stretch.  Keep in mind, unranked Virginia Commonwealth wasn’t even supposed to be invited to the party.  ESPN’s Jay Bilas called their inclusion laughable.

That’s not the point.

The point is… we’re all wrong, no matter how hard we convince ourselves we’re right, which is why predicting the outcome of sporting events, while fun, is mostly futile.

None of us, other than Dionne Warwick and her psychic friends, have the answers.  Otherwise, Waikiki would be considerably more populated.  And despite what the ratings might hold for the VCU-Butler game, college basketball’s ultimate prize is still anyone’s for the taking.

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37 Replies to “March Madness Redux: How could I have been so wrong?”

  1. The excitement of the game is everything. Since I don’t own stock in CBS, I couldn’t give a steaming crap about ratings. School loyalties aside, the Butler-Fl game was just as exciting as the Conn-AZ game. Come next Monday, it won’t matter who wins it all because all 4 teams still in it are very good teams. I truly believe that there’s more parity in college basketball than in the NBA.

  2. Whether it’s the BCS or the NCAA tournament, when it comes to a single elimination contest the best team doesn’t always win.
    That’s what makes sports exciting and the reason the brackets make my head hurt.

  3. Pingback: March Madness Redux: How could I have been so wrong?, NCAA Basketball | BallHyped Sports Blogs

  4. Turns out me picking against my beloved g8rs didn’t matter much, eh? I just wish I’d have had VCU on the money line against Kansas (+625, wow)

  5. In retrospect, Snake, I guess what I meant by calling college basketball “top-heavy” is that schools like Duke, Kansas, Kentucky and North Carolina will always have the upper hand in recruiting.

    As we’ve seen this tourney, that doesn’t necessarily translate into success on the court.

    There’s few leagues that are as top-heavy as both the NBA and MLB. Is anyone prepared to say a team other than Boston, L.A. or Miami will win it all this year? We were calling that back in September.

  6. Aer…

    When submitting this post to different websites, I ran across a very interesting question on

    One person asked… why do we celebrate teams like VCU and Butler in college basketball, yet revile teams like Boise State in college football?

    Interesting, huh?

    Anyone have an answer for that?

  7. When Kentucky wins it all, everyone will just say they deserved a better seed in the first place, and your first article was right all along. If VCU wins, on the other hand, cinderella is back and your second article is right. If UConn wins, you’ll need to write a third article. I just don’t know what a Butler national championship would mean..

  8. Let’s just say I like to cover my tracks, SD. Nothing wrong with a little internal self-debate, huh?

    I think UK’s seeding was appropriate. In a relatively weak SEC this year, Kentucky was the second best team (in retrospect, probably the best now, huh?)

    The Gators were granted a two-seed by virtue of having the best record over the regular season. But remember, the reseeding of Kentucky might necessarily translate into them reaching the Final Four.

    I guess the thing I’m struggling with most is, if VCU wins it all, or even Butler, UK or UConn for that matter, are we prepared to call them college basketball’s best team?

  9. Chris

    The piece was articulate and succinct but it doesn’t negate the fact of the idiocy shown by Rose ! Either he did it to further to garner pub for the documentary (which he produced in conjunction with ESPN) or he actually felt aggrieved by the fact he wasn’t recruited by Duke .

    At the end of the day it shows the guy for the moron that he is to begin with ! How is it that during the documentary he didn’t touch on the alleged monies he and his teammates actually took from boosters whilst at Michigan most noticeably Chris Webber . Less we forget that also ? Funny how that was overlooked in the documentary don’t you think ? But yet they’re hyping up their achievements ? What a crock of sh_t !

    tophatal ………………

  10. Waikiki is on the island of Oahu in Hawaii in case you weren’t kidding 🙂

    I like seeing VCU in the final four as well as Butler. I honestly thought USC was going to beat VCU in the play in game, boy was I wrong. I think it’s interesting how people say this doesn’t crown the true champion. It’s like when the Seahawks beat the Saints in the playoffs this year. Does anyone really believe that the Seahawks are a better team? No, but they still won. With limited ways to measure teams, the only way we can do it is let them play, and whatever the result it’s tough to argue with. When the Fab Five fell short two straight years, did I still think they were the best team during those two years? Yes I did, but they weren’t the national champion…

  11. Chris

    I’m listening to Rome’s show and he’s had Brad Stevens of Butler on as a guest . How likely is it that you think he could be offered an interview with an NBA team this offseason should a position become vacant ? Look at the guy’s resume’ over the last two seasons as he’s taken his team to two consecutive Final Fours as well as coming within a whisk of winning the national title ?

    Money and financial security will trump everything don’t you think should he ever have to come to such a decision. I know he’s made that program into one that’s admired and respected around the country . That in ofitself has to be admired as there have been coaches at the collegiate level coaching longer than Stevens who haven’t achieved as much as he’s done in the last two seasons .

    tophatal ………..

  12. Al…

    There’s probably a little truth in all of that which led to the way Rose felt at the time.

    And in the documentary, he did discuss the money they took. He also explained how he felt Webber betrayed the guy who had given them all that money.

    If anything, the piece portrayed that guy in a kinder light than it did Webber.

  13. So then were does that leave us, Chap?

    Is the NBA playoffs the only format that can determine a true champion?

    If Green Bay wasn’t the best team this season, who was?

    If the San Francisco Giants weren’t the best team in the majors last year, who was?

    If Auburn wasn’t the best college football team in the nation last year, who was?

    And yes, I was just joking about Waikiki.

  14. C’mon, Al. We both know coaching college basketball and the NBA are two totally different ball games.

    How old is that kid? 32? 33? What makes you think some millionaire ballplayer is going to give a damn what he says?

  15. “One person asked… why do we celebrate teams like VCU and Butler in college basketball, yet revile teams like Boise State in college football?”

    In a word, playoffs. In football, there is an entitlement mentality about who should get to lap at the BCS trough, whereas in basketball, it is really hard to say you belong when you lost on the court.

  16. Chris

    I know they discussed but in no real depth and if anything I wouldn’t have wanted —- Rose either given his demeanor ! I mean if he’s willing to take money then God knows what would’ve happened had he attended Duke . There’s no right or wrong here just another African American athlete showing his friggin’ ignorance and complete lack of intelligence !

    Brad Stevens and Shaka Smart would have to be carded if they sought attendance at any night club they’d be attending .

    So what multi million dollar ball player in the NBA actually listens to a coach not named Popovich or Jackson or Rivers ? That’s the question you should be asking at this juncture ?

    Webber betrayed someone ? Oh God now imagine how Tyra Banks feels ? I mean she must’ve been pi_sed when she found out he was nailin’ another model besides her ?

    So Aqib Talib has more trouble on his hands with the Bucs ? What’s this now his third or fourth transgression as he’s now being implicated in some serious gun play that left someone seriously wounded and hospitalized ?

    Law enforcement officials in Garland , Texas want to interview him with regard to the incident and he’s also viewed as a person of interest in the shooting . Nothing says character than having a player who’s now known more for his off the field problems than anything he’s actually done productive on it ! ‘nough said ! I wonder how Rah’ and Mark Dominik will deal with this situation ? .

    They keep the guy and it as such condones his actions given his previous felony and misdemeanors .

    Warrant issued for Aqib Talib
    Click on link to view details .

    tophatal …………

  17. Don’t be too hard on yourself, Chris. Of 5.2 million ESPN selections, two pickedthe correct Final Four teams. VCU basketballis the same as TCU football. Nobody saw
    them coming and they play all-out every
    single play. Butler and VCU run around the
    court like frenzied rats while Kentucky and
    UCONN guys are too busy counting
    their NBA bucks. Butler beats UCONN by
    four to take it all.

  18. Chris, we have a winner in the
    John Leguizamo look-a-like contest.

    VCU’s Joey Rodriguez.

  19. Al…

    Good point about Stevens (34) and Smart (33) although they’re both sipping the bubbly these days whether they got carded or not.

    It’ll be interesting to see how the Bucs brass handles Talib. I really can’t see them keeping him around after all the trouble he’s been in.

    Apparently he shops at the same weapons shop as Evan Longoria.

  20. Butler winning it all, huh, Jim? That’d shock the world. I’m going to stick with chalk, not that that matters since I haven’t been right all along.

    And let’s just say Rodriguez would be a considerably higher seed in the Leguizamo look-alike contest than Butler was this March.

  21. Chris

    If the Bucs can get rid of an alleged rapist in Jerramy Stevens even after he bragged about the incident to friends then why shouldn’t they get rid of Talib’s a_s ? Gruden even when he was first confronted about the allegations of the player’s conduct he and Bruce Allen merely cast it aside as if it didn’t concern them or the image of the organization.

    I just hope for Longo’s sake the weapon (AK-47) was licensed ! What a dumb a_s ! The weapon wasn’t even under lock and key according to various claims and statements being bandied about . Plays the part of a lovable guy but if there’s any veracity to this at all then he’s your simple dumb jock !

    For Whom The Bell Tolls It Tolls For Thee ………. !

    tophatal ………….

  22. What a madness. However it interesting that it comes to one shot at the end of the game most of the time and the BIG schools missed the shot or free throws down hte line.

    Hey do you think the BUTLER coach would go to TN???

  23. Chris

    Karma is a bi_ch ! How sweet it is to see Rose getting popped for DUI in his native Detroit. The former NBA’er at the time refused a field sobriety test but blew almost twice the limit when the mandatory blood test required showed he’d been driving illegally over the limit . His excuse now is that he didn’t feel that he law intoxicated . He’s issued a public apology after the incident . Another reason why the guy is a damn as_hole Chris ! He’s not smart and has about common sense as a gnat ! W

  24. cont’d …………… who the hell wants now to take this guy seriously ? Another reason why athletes such as Rose aren’t worth listening on any matter !

    I hope ESPN takes the usual action and suspends his a_s ! If they can take Harold Reynolds to the woodshed and nail his a_s —- the same with former Mets’ GM Steve Smith for inappropriate sexual behavior towards female employees there in Bristol Connecticut so why not suspend Rose for his stupidity that endangered the lives of the public at the time of the incident ? The guy’s SUV careened out of control and hit a median traveling in excess of 55 mph in 30 mph zone . Albeit that the conditions at the time were said to be wet and slippery .

    tophatal ……………

    tophatal …………………..

  25. Rock….

    Some buddies and I were actually talking about that the other day. But as we were doing do, the ink was drying on Cuonzo Martin’s contract.

    I don’t know much about the guy but you got your man. He’s the former Missouri State coach.

    Hey, I’ll give you guys credit for at least hiring a brother.

  26. Yea, pretty ironic that the whole Rose DUI thing was covered up, then released only a week or so after his Duke/Hill comments.

    I bet you African-Americans at Duke don’t drive drunk. Of course they don’t. They take limos.

  27. So players on the Auburn Tigers’ football teams from 2004-07 have admitted that they were recruited through financial inducements and actually paid for playing certain games during those seasons . All this in the aftermath of the Cam Newton ….. affair . Now apparently the NCAA was fully aware of the situation but hadn’t yet started to conduct their own investigation.

    Paid to play and part of the recruitment process , the players were granted were sexual favors with co-eds as well as local strippers . Sweet ………….. another reason why a student athlete ought to attend Auburn

    All this has now come about after HBO’s and Bryant Gumbel’s expose on his show Real Sports With Bryant Gumbel


    03/31 College football notebook: Report says ex-Auburn players say they were paid

    Click link to view the story reported in the Bradenton Herald.

    tophatal …………..

  28. Chris

    D’ya think that Auburn might have room for an aging ex military vet who’s now looking to further his education ? My main athletics skills are my proficiency in the martial arts and the use of specific small arms from my military training and the use of certain martial arts weapons as well as the use of a Japanese katana . Will that get me in d’ya think ?
    LOL,LOL,LOL !!!! And I’m not averse to gettin’ laid either if that’s gonna be part of the recruitment process !

    tophatal …………….

  29. Chris

    I know I’m no walk on for the basketball or football team but at least if I play by cards right I can get some tail !

    I got tail in college but I wasn’t being paid to get it or the education . LOL,LOL ,LOL !!! On the other hand I ought to be thankful to the bank who actually paid for it at the time …… my education that is . LSE and UCL was a great deal of fun !

    Who knew that the executives who oversaw the Fiesta Bowl were actually paying hookers to ply sexual favors to make sure that their particular Bowl game got favorable reviews and publicity with the press tv outlets as well as with the BCS and NCAA ?

    SEC Conference Commissioner Mike Slive says that he doesn’t want to work with such characters ? Is he kiddin’ that’s like Charlie Sheen now saying he’s gonna give up having sex on days where there’s the letter in the days of the week that ends with D A and Y .

    Slive and the rest of the major bowl conferences are the biggest bunch hypocrites out there along with the BCS and NCAA !

    tophatal ………..

  30. Chris

    That’d be wonderful if you could write me a letter of recommendation to the AD at Auburn and I’d reciprocate the deed if you’re interested in going there as well !

    You ready to get your MLB swerve on ?

    tophatal ……………

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