• phil cantor/@osgphil

The timing of March Madness's return could not have been more perfect


Oral Roberts in Sweet 16/@ORUAthletics screen grab

Yup, I missed the NCAA Basketball Tournament last year when we didn't have one just like you did. It's returned to us in 2021 and is further proof no matter what College Football does with its playoffs, March Madness is always better.


I'm serious. There is ZERO chance of an Oral Roberts or Loyola of Chicago or any other not so large program making headlines in football. In basketball, they ARE the story line.


No, I don't pretend to understand the how--or why a small religious school in Oklahoma named after a questionable preacher can manage to be really good at big-time College Basketball. But it's also really fun.


Is there some karmic irony with them beating Ohio State and then Florida in the tourney? Hell, yes. A #15 seed beats the #2 seed and then the #7 seed. Hahahahaha!


But the fundamentally Oral Roberts of the world may not be the biggest surprise of the tournament. How about Loyola of Chicago? Or Oregon State. Abilene Christian or #11 Syracuse? An 11th seeded UCLA or #13 seeded Ohio U?


The point being, unlike College Football, we aren't seeing the "Tradional Powers" dominate. We know or at least have a pretty good idea who is playing and likely to win the College Football playoff. The NCAA Basketball Tournament? Not so much.


There is no North Carolina or Duke or Kentucky dominating the headlines and sucking all of the publicity out of the room in March Madness. Which is the absolute beauty of the tournament.


On any given day one basketball team can beat another whether the matchup is even or one-sided.


You can't say that in football.


The other fun part of the tournament is following tournament brackets. There's a good chance if you're a devoted sports fan, you have at least one bracket in either a work group or friend group or website bracket competition.


And yeah, most of us pick the favorites, the higher seeded teams to win. Inevitably, those brackets get thrown out as the favorites drop like flies.


Which yeah, again, makes the whole thing fun.


Does anyone really think its fun watching Alabama play Clemson or Ohio State or Georgia and/or Oklahoma every single year in the College Football playoff outside fans of those teams?


As the world we know begins its slow crawl towards returning to some semblance of normal, I love--absolutely LOVE, the month of March as a sports fan. From March Madness to baseball's spring training, the buildup to the NFL draft and NBA Basketball ramping up to the playoffs, it is one of sports best months of the year.


I don't know about you, but yeah, I can sit in front of a TV all day on a Friday or Saturday and watch College Basketball games between teams I either don't know about or wouldn't normally follow. And there's a better than average chance it's going to be one hell of a good game.


Which makes me---and should make you, awfully damn happy.....

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