Monday, March 26, 2012

The Final Four. Overrated

No doubt, it's impressive for a college basketball team, be they men or women, to get to the Final Four. This is about the men. I'm still trying to figure out the women's side of things, but it's probably a fair statement to say most men have that problem for their entire lives, and never do figure it out. But I digress. 

During the first couple games of the tournament, the top seeds normally cruise through cupcake competition, but when it gets to the regionals, they better bring their A game or they'll get sent packing. Ask former #1 seeds Michigan State, North Carolina, and Syracuse about that. Poof. Gone in 40 minutes.

Kentucky is the lone remaining #1 seed to make it to the Final Four this year. Last year, not a single #1 seed made it that far.

But the Final Four is just that. They've made the semi-finals. So why did all 4 teams get trophies and cut the nets down while celebrating like they're world champions? Only one is going to win it. The other three will be quickly forgotten. Don't believe me? UConn won it last year, but quick -- who were the other semifinalists? See what I mean? It doesn't matter. While they all cut the nets down upon reaching the Final Four, Kentucky, Butler, and Virginia Commonwealth are nothing more than an answer to a trivia question only a year later, when it comes to this tournament. Sure, reaching the Final Four means major exposure and publicity, being shown on TV worldwide, and no doubt a hefty check for the bean counters at the universities, but somebody has to come in fourth, and third, and second. And those three spots don't matter.

This year, Ohio State will face off with Kansas, and Kentucky has a grudge match with Louisville in the semis next Saturday. Funny thing is -- I'm guessing neither of the two winners will be getting another trophy for making the actual finals, much less cutting the nets down. They have to get ready for the "big" game on Monday night.

When teams make the Final Four, they get shirts and caps commemorating it. It's a big deal. If they win in the semis, they won't get the same memorabilia, even though they've reached a higher level. I guess it's OK to brag about being a semifinalist, but not cool to be known as an eventual runner-up. Am I the only person that thinks that's somehow strange?

Yep, the Final Four is WAY over hyped. In the end, there will be only one winner and three losers.



  1. You clearly don't understand the concept of sports. If you think there is only 1 winner, then you are wrong. What about Lehigh for example. Would you say that they didn't win at all in upsetting Duke? I believe beating a program full of history, right down the street from their campus, is a win in anybody's book. How about Norfolk St. beating Missouri in the first round? Millions of people picked Missouri to go to the Final Four including ESPN and CBS analysts. You don't understand the idea of a small university achieving success. You believe it is National Championship or bust. In that case, I hope you won the National Championship in whatever career you aspire, or else you won't be too happy with yourself.

  2. Dear anon. On the subject of Lehigh and Norfolk St., I would refer you to an earlier post I wrote titled "Might as well get high", where proper kudos were given. Like most everybody else, I get caught up in rooting for the "little guy" too. As for understanding the concept of sports, I would merely say that games are played every day. Somebody's going to win and somebody's going to lose. The same thing applies in whatever playoffs may be involved at the end of their sports seasons. The further they go, the more glory they get but, in the end, there can only be one champion. Regarding my career aspirations, I would ask you to scroll down and look to your right for the mini-bio. While I freely admit I'm not the National Champion at either playing the piano or riding a Harley, feel free to contact sport editor Jeff Kuehn, the boss, and ask him about me being a nuisance and coming up with weird ideas. Methinks he'll tell you I'm world-class when it comes to that. LOL Thanks for commenting.

  3. OMG John, it is not about whether you and I remember which team came in 2nd, 3rd, 4th or 10th for that matter. It is the self esteem it builds in those young men and women by winning a major team, by getting to the playoffs, by scoring more points than they ever have, or whatever small or large contribution they made to their team. It may be about the money to some of the Universities, but ultimately it is about team work, focus, self esteem and building charater. The Princess

  4. Well stated and agreed, Your Highness. Thing is -- it's not about all the fine points you made. It's about media -- and sometimes school-- generated hype. Everything's a number these days. Ranking, seeding, stats from hell, scribes and talking heads endlessly blathering on, etc. Maybe I got caught up in it. Shame on me and a thousand pardons. But let's see. Team work? Nope, I write this nonsense solo. Focus? Debatable. Self-esteem? See focus. But I doubt few would argue I'm quite a "character". LOL Besides, much is always made about "underdogs". Princesses, of all people, should definitely be able to connect to "Cinderella" stories.

  5. Again, John, that is what you, and everyone who watches the Media sees, that is not what the players see or hear. That is not what they hear in the locker room. You, and everyone else might get caught in the hype, the players do not. What the public sees is not important, if you get tired of it, dont watch it. The media hype does not matter, what matters is the players. And, ultimately, for the most part, they grow from the experience.

    The Princess

  6. Surely you jest, Your Highness. Players are not only aware of the media, and the hype that comes with it -- they embrace it, and further add fuel to the fire with their interviews, tweets, facebook posts, and such. If media exposure didn't matter, they'd all still be playing intra-mural games. Who's kidding who here?

  7. Hey JL. It sounds like your princess has her tiara on a little too tight. If it wasn't for the media, nobody would know about it, much less be able to watch it.