The NCAA Division I men’s basketball tournament starts today, if you don’t count the “first four” games earlier this week.
I have for a few years posted on this blog one or more (per tournament) brackets, because I am fine with public self-deprecation. I am not doing that this year, though my opinion about self-deprecation hasn’t changed.
Given the traveshamockery of the NCAA’s seeing Wisconsin — the team that finished second in the Big T1e4n, one of the Power Five conferences, and second in the Big T1e4n tournament — 32nd, lining up a second-round loss to Villanova Saturday, I refuse to support the tournament. I will not watch any game that doesn’t include Wisconsin, including the Final Four. (I have to work late Monday nights anyway. The last national championship game I saw was 2015, and I didn’t watch the 2013 or 2014 title games.)
One assumes the Badgers’ poor seeding is the result of their poor play in February. What that means, of course, is that no other month of the season apparently matters. Your conference record? Irrelevant. Whom you beat? Who cares? The entire season? So what?
I am aware that UW is probably not as good as sixth through 10th best in Division I, which is what you’d expect a Power Five runner-up to be. That translates to a second or third seed, which is better than the various power ratings. But if you believe those, which generally had UW in the early 20s, then UW should have gotten a sixth seed. There is a huge difference between a sixth seed (which gets you an 11th-seed first-round game, then a game between the 14th or third seeds, then most likely the second seed) and an eighth seed, particularly when the selection committee deliberately put UW into the same regional as Villanova, the overall number one seed. There is only one reason to do that, and that’s to get rid of that team as soon as possible because the NCAA doesn’t like UW’s style of play or Greg Gard’s suits or whatever stupid rationale the selection committee wants to use.
So I don’t care who wins the tournament. Except for UW games (and that’s a big if too), I won’t be watching it.