The tweet below from Jon Rothstein caused me to get the kind of angry I used to enjoy indulging in. Back in the day, I loved screaming about idiots who publicly showcased their lack of understanding about life, culture, sports, politics, and all topics in between. A few years ago, I paused my penchant for fury. Today, I’m back!
Source: All ACC programs agreed earlier today to have every single Division 1 team in the 2021 NCAA Tournament.
Several are expected to release official statements later today.
This is being done to "celebrate" college basketball. https://t.co/wuCMZ8QLtE
— Jon Rothstein (@JonRothstein) September 9, 2020
Opening up the 2021 NCAA Tournament to all 357 Division One members as a celebration of college basketball is the kind of dopey idea I would normally ignore as the brainchild of a fool, but when it comes unanimously from the programs of college basketball’s second best conference, notice needs to be taken and yelling needs to commence.
Bad sports columnists fill column inches with this kind of mindless tripe. That the ACC has decided to advocate a proposal to make meaningless an entire regular season as some sort of novel and wonderful all-skate party shows the shallow and self-immersed idiocy rampant in collegiate athletics.
Selection Sunday and the NCAA Tournament Bubble are so important to fans there are people like ESPN’s Joe Lunardi and CBS Sports Jerry Palm who earn a handsome living for doing nothing but examining the tournament resumes of potential participants. Thousands subscribe to Ken Pomeroy’s website to try to figure out whether their favorite team is above or below the line as a tourney candidate.
And what drives ratings for the NCAA Tournament itself? Brackets! Every business, frat, dorm floor, and family with even a passing knowledge of college hoops puts together a bracket challenge. Does the ACC believe people are going to sit down to complete a bracket with nine freaking rounds? Not a chance in hell.
What would be the point of this wasteful extravaganza? To see Duke hammer Chicago State by 110 points? To increase travel during a pandemic, which will almost certainly continue through March? To exhaust “student-athletes?” To destroy all other tournaments?
We know the answer to the question of why coaches advocate for anything – money and job security. This “celebration” is motivated by greed for extra games, to get coaches who would have missed the Big Dance off the hook, and to activate bonuses contractually guaranteed to coaches for piloting their programs to the NCAA Tournament.
Let’s hope the NCAA has the brains to see through this thickheaded gambit to preserve what makes its signature event great – the preciousness of a bid, the February fun that precedes March Madness, and brackets that can be completed in less than four hours.
The ACC needs to be careful what it wishes for, but like coaches who don’t know whether to defend the ball on a last second inbounds play, the ACC is clueless as to why the tournament they are threatening to ruin is great.
Thanks to the Big 10 for having the sanity to abstain from this boobery. It’s not just college basketball’s best conference, it’s also the smartest!