March 27, 2006
Everything you ever wanted to know about sports on TV.At The Buzzer
I'm Naming My First Son George Mason
We all go a little mad come March
I guess I could just rattle on and on about how unimaginably fantastic the NCAA basketball tournament is. I'll just sit here, frothing at the mouth, basking in the warm glow of college basketball's warming glow. As if anyone could blame me for doing that. I mean, really, have you watched any of the games this year?
|It's probably a good thing that I have some sort of structure in my life which mandates that I need to go to work, eat, sleep, obey traffic laws. Because I'm pretty sure that, if left to my own devices, I would've just bought the March Madness package courtesy of CBS and cut off all lines of communication.|
On Sunday, March 14, the NCAA Tournament Selection Show aired on CBS, revealing the field and seedings of the 65 teams who will be competing for the national title over the next three weeks. During that program, it came to light that some controversial inclusions were made (as is the case every season). However, the teams most under fire for their inclusion in the NCAAs were what we call, mid-majors.
The only legitimate gripe from a major basketball program comes from Cincinnati, who really should've been hooping instead of Air Force. But there were no other compelling cases. So skewering Littlepage for including the George Mason's and Utah State's of the tourney seems a bit stupid, especially when citing history as the reason for your anger. Billy the imp Packer kept spouting about how the ACC had performed incredibly well over the last five years compared to the Missouri Valley. Yeah, he's right, but that's irrelevant. It has nothing to do with this season. Nor does conference affiliation matter when discussing NCAA resumes on a team-by-team basis. So to Jim Nantz and Billy Packer, two people whose job it is to understand such things and follow more than just the Big Ten and SEC teams they broadcast games for, I say this: you're both royal morons. And lucky for me (as well as the rest of America), the last two weeks have proven as much.
|Some might think it just coincidence, but I'm sure the success of the small schools had quite a bit to do with it. Each year, this is one team in the tournament that advances much deeper than expected: The Cinderella team. Their story usually ends in the Sweet 16. But George Mason has done not one, but two better (and still counting as of March 26th).|
I screamed like a little girl when the score went final and Goliath fell. I was literally jumping around the house, yelling at the top of my lungs, scaring the dog, going bananas. Once I settled in the afterglow, all I could think was that I didn't want this GMU ride to end. It was already obvious that the Florida/Villanova game had a chance at comparing favorably in any way. So what do I do? Flip it over to ESPN News for the press conference. Losers go on first, and man, your heart just went out to Marcus Williams and Rudy Gay, two of Connecticut's stars who played incredibly well. Their faces were akin to that of a six-year-old whose dog had just been run over. Conversely, the bright smiles adorned on the faces of the GMU starting five told another story. They answered one soft question after another before Coach Larranaga took the reins, their euphora readily apparent.
Over the next week, the country will be inundated with images of Jai Lewis, Tony Skinn, and company. ESPN will undoubtedly turn them into Gods. The movie rights have already been sold. Dogs and cats living together and George Mason in the Final Four. Some might say the lack of name recognition will hurt CBS's ratings for this weekend's Final Four (for the first time since 1980, none of the 1-seeds made the national semis), but for anyone with half-a-brain and a thirst for a good story, watching George Mason vs Florida on Saturday is an absolute given. The champion of the little guy no longer will have his day. Why? Because he's having it, right now.
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