Column: Bring on another year of madnessThere are only a few sporting events events powerful enough to bring people together on a national or even a global scale. The summer Olympics unite us in our love of competition on the world stage. The winter Olympics unite us in wondering whether biathlon really counts as a sport and waiting in for the Olympics that has events the United States can win.
By: Nathan Hansen, The Farmington Independent
There are only a few sporting events events powerful enough to bring people together on a national or even a global scale. The summer Olympics unite us in our love of competition on the world stage. The winter Olympics unite us in wondering whether biathlon really counts as a sport and waiting in for the Olympics that has events the United States can win. The Super Bowl unites us in our love for commercials that involve men getting hit in their most sensitive areas.
The World Cup brings together much of the world, but in the United States it mostly splits people into one group that appreciates the spectacle and the game and one group that really, really wants you to know it thinks soccer is stupid.
The NCAA basketball tournament, which kicked off Tuesday and Wednesday with four games between teams that have next to no chance to win anything else this year, is another one of those events. For at least a few weeks, it unites Americans, many of whom would never otherwise care about a game of basketball, in wondering about what’s going on with teams from schools they may never have heard of.
At no other time of the year will so many people contemplate the fate of the Texas-San Antonio Roadrunners, the Akron Zips or the UC Santa Barbara Gauchos, all of which are actual teams actually playing in this year’s tournament.
When, outside of March, will anyone ever approach you with questions like, “So, what do you think of Bucknell?”
The University of Minnesota, it’s worth mentioning, are not in the tournament. The only major sports team to which I pay any attention watched its season go the way of Charlie Sheen’s custody rights around the time one of its most important players left the program and another broke his foot. Seven teams from the Big 10 made this year’s tournament, and they weren’t one of them.
Four teams from the Big 10 failed to make the NCAA field, a mathematical improbability that will only become more pronounced next year when the conference adds its 12th school, apparently with no plans to change its name.
Anyone considering a math major might want to look at schools in another conference. Not the Big 12, though, which starting later this year will be down to 10 teams.
Never let anyone tell you academics aren’t important in high-level college athletics.
The next several weeks aren’t about scholarship, though. The only math skill involved in March Madness involves adding points as many as three at a time.
Even that shouldn’t be a problem if you’re playing a Big 10 team. NCAA teams Wisconsin and Penn State played to an epic 36-33 final in the Big 10 tournament semifinals. The only time I see games with lower scores is when I’m reading in our Looking Back section about games that happened 50 years ago.
Seriously, this week in Farmington’s history the Tiger hoops team won a three-game tournament with a cumulative score of 33 points. The Tigers scored nine points in the title game.
It’s a wonder March Madness even exists.
It does, though, and for the next month casual fans across the country will hang on blowouts and buzzer-beaters involving players they’ll never think about again.
It’s going to be great.