The NCAA Division I men’s basketball tournament starts today.
Unlike previous years, I am participating in no pools and making no picks, other than this: Wisconsin and Marquette will lose in the first round. UW has unfortunately devolved into a team that isn’t particularly fun to watch and can’t score, so if they don’t play the best defense on the planet they lose. (Shades of Dick Bennett.)
Marquette’s basketball team is as overrated as its university, and on principle I want Marquette to lose every game the Warriors — I mean Golden Eagles — play. (I feel the same about the Big 10, unless a particular result benefits UW.)
Other than that, I really have no interest in the tournament. Part of it is that I haven’t been following college basketball this year because I had more and more important things to do. (That is, announcing games instead of merely watching them.) Part of it also is that I resist doing popular things because they’re popular.
Part of it is the fact that very little of the tournament is on free TV anymore. Generally UW (of course) gets the shaft and is placed on truTV, which no one gets as part of their cable or satellite package. CBS/Turner somehow screwed up by placing Friday’s game on TBS, but it won’t matter since as I previously pointed out UW is a one-and-done. The tournament is streamed online, but Wisconsin’s rotten Internet service makes that a bad option as well.
Part of it is that I am getting tired of the corruption of the NCAA and college generally, as seen by people getting into college who don’t deserve to get into college. (Does that mean athletes who can’t cut it academically, or “students” whose parents pay others to inflate their applications? Yes, and more.) All human institutions are corrupt, of course, because all humans are flawed and cannot be redeemed.
If I watch any of the tournament besides UW’s first-round loss Friday, it will be an accident. Wake me up when it’s time for the Brewers to not go to the World Series again.