The Madness is almost upon us.
We are so close (yet so far) from filling out brackets, huddling in front of the TV with the masses, and praying that our teams win, but more importantly, that our crumpled up piece of paper proves that we were right all along!
In this final weekend of regular season play, college basketball perfectly sets the table for conference tournaments with classic rivalry games across the board. In a week from now, the conference tournaments, while really not entirely necessary, will build the drama and anticipation for Selection Sunday which will in turn, kick-start the true Madness of March in an instant.
Unlike college football, collegiate basketball gets it right.
The Olympics and World Cup may be the most-watched international contests, but to me, the NCAA Tournament is the most exciting sporting event in the world.
As previously mentioned, NCAA basketball has a schedule that is precisely designed to build up to the Tournament. Every single game from the Midnight Madness scrimmage on, has its place and serves a purpose of getting teams from practice and conditioning mode all the way to full on ratings-bonanza, butt-kicking Tourney play.
In the next week, we’ll get a taste of what many of these teams are made of. Not so much the Top 25 teams who we know will make it to the Big Dance regardless of what happens in conference tournaments, but the “bubble” teams, mid-majors and dark horses that nobody has watched play all season (because they are rarely nationally televised, if ever), who finally get a chance to shine and show us A) if they can even make it to the Tourney and B) what we can expect to see from them on basketball’s biggest stage.
The Tourney is a time where loyalties fly out the window and rooting against the favorite is the popular thing to do. It’s the one time when the big boys get bullied and the little guys play the hero.
So turn on your TV this weekend and start picking your favorites, both the powerhouses and unknowns and by next weekend, you’ll be ready to select the bracket busters and wrongly choose the next National Champion right along with the rest of us.