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There is nothing mad about March Madness

March 11, 2017

March Madness, one of the most profound tournaments of its time. On average, 28 million people tune in to watch. It gives 68 teams the chance to prove that they are an elite team in NCAA Men’s Basketball. But, in the past couple of years it has not met up to the hype. The NCAA Men’s Basketball Tournament has gotten less and less exciting with the same thing happening over and over again. The selection committee has made poor seeding choices, which affects the whole tournament, by giving teams an unfair advantage while other teams are disadvantaged. Because of this, the overall entertainment of the tournament has gone down.

The new generation of basketball is filled with skilled players who can nail threes from seemingly anywhere on the court or do 360 dunks in game. The overall skill level and fitness of the athletes has gone up, but the production has not. Currently the UCLA Bruins are averaging 93.1 points per game when 10 years ago, the highest points per game was 95.6. That shows that although the flashiness of the sport has gone up, the overall talent has somewhat stayed the same or gone down.

As an avid sports fan, I used to watch this tournament religiously. But, in the past couple of years, especially last year, I lost a lot of interest because of poor seeding picks and the lack of entertainment. The tournament has been played out in the exact same way and not much has changed, but it gets boring year after year. All the attention has been moved over to the NBA playoffs. Since 2010, the average number of viewers of the NBA playoffs has gone up by four million.

One of the biggest problems is the extreme hype that has been put out for March Madness. People always see the commercials of Charles Barkley, Spike Lee and the rest of their gang cracking jokes and making March Madness appear to be a gift from God. It doesn’t end up to be that way though. Every year, the NCAA promotes the tournament to be bigger and better than the year before. It’s because they have realized that people are losing interest. They have been scrambling to pick up their slack. It’s pitiful. Every year, they speak of how crazy things are going to happen, and how it will be “like you’ve never seen before” but that is simply not the case.

 

It can be played out the same every year; there are the predicted teams that cruise into the Sweet 16, then one of the number one seeds will be beat in an unexpected fashion. There will always be a couple of small upsets, but never anything major. That will only happen every couple of years. Then one of the top seeds will beat a number one seed in the championship game. It has been that way for a while now with only a couple of major upsets here and there. There will also be a Cinderella team that will unexpectedly make it through a couple of rounds. But they are usually the middle of the pack teams that do not play anybody of a threat until the Sweet 16. Events like this happening constantly shows that it may not just be luck, it may be bad seeding.

Along with the level of interest declining, the crazy high hype has ruined the annual NCAA March Madness. The overall rating of the tournament have gone down 37 percent from 2015 to 2016. This is because people are no longer impressed with what is going on. So, there needs to be a change, and soon. Otherwise it will no longer be called March Madness, because the “madness” is gone.

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