Alright, so many of you all know what March Madness entails and I don't really have to go into big detail with it. Awesome.
If you guys are so darned smart and all (all 4 of you that read this blog) you should already know that two huge favorites just went down hard in the NCAA Tournament today. Villanova and top-seeded Kansas just suffered huge upsets tonight to two (I shouldn't say this, but it's true) "nobody" teams that had no chance of making it past the second round of play. Yes, Villanova is around the Philadelphia area, and I'll probably be hearing about this upset for the next 3 weeks or so, but it makes me kind of glad. Why? Not only does it give me something to write about, but stuff like this is the stuff that is lacking in the NBA and it needs to be noted.
Let's get things straight. Here in Philly, basketball isn't as huge as it used to be. It did get a bit of a resurgence in '03 when the Sixers made it to the NBA Finals (and failed to beat Shaqzilla and Kobe) but after that, the Sixers organization is practically begging people to come to the games and making the tickets super duper cheap.
I'm not sure, but it might be the same case for other teams. A team that comes to mind is the New Jersey Nets--they're so horrible, it's sad. I think a girls' high school team could beat them. Anyway, the NBA isn't as hugely popular with a whole bunch of people anymore, and if people do watch the game, it's either for the All-Star Game, the NBA Finals, or just to see some popular players like LeBron James kill their hometown team single-handed. Other than that, the players pretty much just show off their skills and get paid money doing it. Do I like it? Not really. I don't see the heart in the game anymore.
On the other hand, NCAA Basketball is nearly the opposite. When it isn't college football season, there's bound to be huge groups of people watching college basketball. It's always been like that it seems. In the Philadelphia area, we're surrounded by hugely-known college teams like St. Joe's, Temple, Villanova, and UPenn. Every time I watch highlights on the news, the courts are packed and there's so much going on at once. See, these guys actually have something to PLAY FOR. They're playing to be known; the guys in the NBA have already gotten there and looking as if they're abusing their privileges to be a professional basketball player. It looks like the college guys are playing with so much more heart. That could just be me. I just feel bad for the guys that went straight from high school to the pros. They never got the privilege to take part in such a huge, nationwide frenzy (not to mention get a good education on the side). Sure, these college guys don't get pay raises for winning the tournament, but they get bragging rights and a big chance to get drafted into a pro team sometime in the near future. Good things comes to those who wait, right?
I don't know, I just find NCAA Basketball to be a bit more realistically exciting than the NBA. I kinda feel the same way with college football and the NFL, but that's another story and another rant that I don't feel like getting into at this moment. It seems like there's more heart involved.