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The "Play-In Game" is like eating at the kids table

I'm really upset that I wasted five hours of my life watching horrible basketball.

Why? Because I could've been doing something much more productive with my life. I could've been folding clothes, doing my taxes, sipping Hennessy, playing Madden, anything other than watch two mediocre teams battle it out to either: A) get their brains beat in like they stole something, or B) put themselves at a competitive disadvantage for the "real" tournament that begins on Thursday. I'm mad because I made myself watch those games, for reasons that are still unbeknown. The hype machine that is ESPN-TNT-Court TV-TBS-Tru TV made me believe that I was going to miss something by not watching these games...

...what I ended up watching was bad basketball, plain and simple.

Let me be clear about something right now, to the players, coaches, family members, friends, and fanbases of: UNC-Asheville, Arkansas-Little Rock, Alabama State (HBCU lets go) and Texas-San Antonio...I am 100% happy for you that we get to celebrate your achievements, your success in the regular season should receive the spotlight, and bask in the glory that is making the NCAA tournament. This is literally what dreams are made of, this is the dream you had when you signed up to play ball and a small D-1 school, "one day, we're gonna make the big dance." Instead you end up getting sat at the kid's table, and eat your piddly, pathetic, and preposterous little plate and are told to "prove that you can eat with the grown folks" before you eat at the big table with mama and 'nem.

*kicks that feeble card-playing table with the force of Ken or Ryu performing a Hurricane Kick...a-kek-kek-yuuuken! I blame Chauncey for this reference.*

If you meet the requirements laid out by the NCAA selection committee, which in this scenario is to win your conference championship, then why in the hell are you making them do "more" stuff that doesn't matter? How much more of a competitive advantage does a #1 seed in Pittsburgh or #1 seed in Ohio State really need? Okay, so you want to take these two #16 seeds, have them play in a duel-to-the-death scenario against each other, then hop on a plane and come up with some type of preparation for the juggernaut that is a #1 seed? That's ridiculous.

I'm of the belief that a #16 seed could beat a #1. We all saw the greatness that was a #15 seed Hampton (HBCU) beat a #2 seed Iowa State team that had Marcus Fizer and Jamaal Tinsley, the upset can happen...but at this point, a #1 seed losing? I don't think it will ever happen, and its really a shame if you think about it. If that #16 gets beat by 30 to a #1, then so be it. They're a #16 seed, but at least give them a fighting shot. Don't throw them to the wolves after they've already been battered and bruised just 48 hours before,

I could give a care less about VCU, USC, UAB, or Clemson. You four are mediocre at-large teams, if you knew better you'd do better. Clearly you're not that good, but in the same degree you all are #12 seeds. The 5-12 matchup is the slickest matchup in all NCAA brackets, why? Because usually #5 seeds are on the edge of being a consistently good team, but has some flaws. Usually #12 seeds are either under-the-radar squads with something to prove, or a team who has talent but hasn't figured it all out yet. That's what these four teams are, and they help provide the true drama in the tournament. This year, I (along with all of you, because you don't want to figure out the confusion that is picking a "play-in game" winner in your bracket and the implications) am not picking a #12-seed from a play-in game. I just don't see it happening that they would win against quality #5 seeds.

What the NCAA is inadvertently doing is giving a competitive advantage to teams that don't need one. That's the reason the whole "play-in" game scenario always bothered me. If I'm a head coach, give me 72-96 hours to scheme, gameplan, and motivate my guys to go out here and get this win, instead you want me to eat at the little kids table with a napkin in my shirt and feeding me applesauce instead of real vegetables and cutting up my meat instead of letting me cut it myself like a grown man should.

*Does a Macho Man Elbow Drop from the top rope on that pathetic ass card table again for good measure.*


P.S. As a reminder, checkout the livest sports talk show around, "The Unsportsmanlike Conduct Show" as we are live Wednesday's at 9pm Eastern at http://www.blogtalkradio.com/edthesportsfan! Download our podcasts if you missed the live show as well!


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