There was something incomplete about this year's tourney. Sure, there were the usual upsets, insane comebacks, and the crazy second round that busted everyone's bracket, but it was still incomplete. Something about having a #1 and a #2 seed play each other in the final, and even then have the #1 seed win it all seems like it wasn't really a madness this season.
Well, at least not in the April part of March Madness, March itself was just ridiculous.
Sure, we got confirmation that a tourney, even one such as big as a 68 team tourney can still crown the best team in the nation, and that all along we were right to stick with our guns that Kentucky would be the team to beat. But, there were no true Cinderellas this year. We had one-and-done teams, but no underdogs that just won all the way to the Final Four like Butler and VCU, or even last year's UConn. And having two #1 seeds, and two #2 seeds in the Final Four spoke testament to that. The better teams won this year. For the most part at least. Of the four #1 seeds, only one failed to make the Elite Eight, and that was Michigan St losing to Louisville in the round prior.
But despite the lack of Cinderellas or huge underdogs winning, it was still a good tourney, because at least we got a good championship game this year. No doubt I'm disappointed that BYU couldn't follow on again, and that to date I have never picked the champion at the start of the tourney, (I got close with Kansas), but there were some good spectacles.
Such as...In the opening day of matches, BYU pulls off the largest comeback in tournament history, made for an exciting opening round for a change, while in the other day, we had Western Kentucky come back against MVSU in the largest comeback ever in the last 5 minutes. After one day, we've already started with a bang. Then we hear about Fab Melo being ineligible and can believe that a #16 seed can finally defeat a #1 seed after all these years. But alas, the game was very close right to the end and Syracuse survived, and continued to survive against teams that many people though could roll Syracuse without Melo. Bye bye K-State and Wisky, we all had you on our brackets to survive, but the Orange kept the madness coming. FSU tumbed early, and they were in my Final Four. The Zags nearly took down #2 Ohio St in a thriller that reminded us of their run nearly 10 years ago. Ohio got to the Sweet 16, with that State running rampant into that round. The ever-so-dominant Gaels from St Mary's (CA) got taken down by Purdue.
And rounding it out, the ridiculousness of both Duke AND Missouri tumbling out in the second round, to teams like Lehigh and Norfolk St? Down goes everyone's predictions and made us believe that they could be potential Cinderellas, while our picks as those princesses fell out of the tourney like Wichita St. VCU couldn't go deep like last year, Drexel got hosed by not getting in, and UW rued their missed chance of going dancing.
Overall, it was a bit empty with the best teams making it to the Final Four, but it was still mad. And it was an NCG to remember, nearly a five-by-five scored, and a near comeback for the ages.
Hurry up and come back again March! We'll miss you, but now its time for Football! Come on Cougars!