Basketball fans, it is that time of the year again

By on March 20, 2013

By Mitchell Behle–

Fans should look forward to an incredible NCAA tournament.

As the NCAA men’s basketball season comes to a close, there is a sense of uncertainty that remains.  While there is definitely no shortage of talented teams, there is also no one team that sticks out as this year’s favorite to win it all.  The season has been ruled by competitive chaos, with top five teams being upset by unranked teams almost every week.  Overall, this season has seemed to favor the underdog more than ever.  What does all of this mean as March Madness quickly approaches?  It seems that this year’s NCAA basketball tournament will be one of the most entertaining in recent memory.

Over the course of the past 18 weeks, the  No. 1 ranked team in the country has changed a whopping seven times.  Indiana, Duke, Gonzaga, Michigan and our own Louisville Cardinals have all held the coveted top position. Even the rest of the Associated Press Top 25 has been a large jumble of different teams fighting tooth and nail for the top spot.  There is not a single team that has proven to be the definitive favorite for the tournament.

Some people might try to claim that Indiana is obviously favored for winning it all in early April.  The Indiana Hoosiers are an incredibly talented team with one of the best offenses in the country, but as of writing this article, they have lost five times this season.  Normally, five losses is respectable and expected from any Top 10 team, but four of Indiana’s losses have come from unranked teams.

Indiana is not the only top ranked team to lose in this manner though.  Duke, Michigan and Louisville have all received a majority of their losses from tough games against unranked teams in conference play.  This just goes to show that almost any team in the tournament has an opportunity to win, regardless of who they are matched up with.

It’s no secret that everyone loves an underdog.  Being unpolished and authentic, they are something that almost everyone can relate to.  Underdogs are inspiring and living proof that no matter what obstacles you have to overcome, hard work always pays off.  For some reason, viewers have never been able to get enough of “David” beating “Goliath”, and the NCAA tournament is the perfect time to get that “David and Goliath” fix.  Fortunately for the fans, this March will have plenty of long shot, underdog teams.  Teams like Villanova, Butler, Wisconsin and Illinois have all delivered upsetting defeats to top tier teams this season.  It is very likely that these teams will all make appearances in the tournament and hopefully make for some exiting and compelling games down the stretch.

March Madness has always been a fan favorite for a number of reasons.  Players and coaches perform with a higher intensity and passion than is seen in any other sport, making for some of the most exciting games of the season.  Cinderella teams seem to come out of the woodwork and shake up every aspect of the tournament.

Overall, it seems that viewers are addicted to the unpredictability of the tournament, the same way some people are in love with the randomness of reality television.  If the unpredictability of the season has been an indicator of what is to come, fans are in for an incredible NCAA tournament.

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Photo by Austin Lassell/The Louisville Cardinal

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