When Underdogs Rule We're Left With March ... Badness
CBS cherishes a Cinderella and Americans love the underdog, but consider me underwhelmed by this year's NCAA Final Four. Kentucky? Sure. Connecticut? I can see that. Butler? Again? Virginia Commonwealth? What the what?!
Maybe you think parity is good for sports and for college basketball, but I miss the days when there were defined, definite best teams, not just a good team who happens to win a tournament. You could replay this tournament in April and get a totally different Final Four. For me and guys named Barack Obama (who picked all four No. 1 seeds through to Reliant Stadium) it's temporarily entertaining yet wholly disturbing.
Butler and VCU are not -- I repeat, are not -- among the four best teams in college basketball.
But they're playing each other Saturday in Houston. It's a record underdog circle jerk with their seeds -- 11 and 8 -- combining for 19, by far the highest number in Final Four history.
Kentucky-UConn might be a classic. Future NBA stars and Hall of Fame coaches on both sides. But Butler-VCU. I wouldn't watch if they played in January and I'm not sure I'll watch Saturday.
Why? To me it's like the Jacksonville Jaguars playing the Detroit Lions in the Super Bowl. The Clippers and Wizards facing off in the NBA Finals. Or the Rangers actually playing in a World Series. Wait...
I miss watching the dynasties. When a championship was a coronation of a truly great team. Not just an exclamation point after an exciting but inconsequential hiccup of an aberration.
Butler is gutsy and VCU coach Shaka Smart is charismatic. But I don't think parity is good for sports. And I know it's not for March Madness.
And, no, I'm not a Kansas fan.