With apologies to Christmas, March is the most wonderful time of the year. Three weeks, 68 teams and tears — both happy and sad. There are gifts…and gifs, memories…and memes. It all starts on Tuesday.
Having said that, it is not perfect.
In no particular order, here are 5 Ways To Improve the NCAA Tournament:
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Reward Conference Champions
A team that wins both the regular season title and the conference tournament should be rewarded for doing something extremely difficult. So reward them for a season's worth of excellence. Loyola Chicago doubles up the Missouri Valley, give the Ramblers a Midwest draw. Arizona takes the regular season and conference tourney crown in the Pac-12, send them out West.
Not only do you reward schools for winning, but you also ease the burden on fans who want to follow their teams through the most exciting time of the year.
Stop Holding NCAA Tournament Fans Hostage on Selection Sunday
CBS/TBS or whoever is in charge of airing Selection Sunday should air next year's show at Guantanamo because what I was put through was ruled illegal under the Geneva Convention. They have perfected how to take something so lovely and enjoyable and completely shower it with feces.
There were so many things wrong with its most recent attempts to unveil the field of 68 that the only possible way they could make it worse is if next year during the Selection Sunday program, they aired this on loop.
All you need is 30 minutes, reveal each bracket, give analysis in each region and done. Stop ruining Christmas!
Make the Sweet 16 An All-Day Event
It really makes no sense. The NCAA goes from dominating the airwaves Thursday-Sunday on the first week of the NCAA Tournament, then decides to mash four games in four hours.
Why not continue to own Thursday-Sunday in the second week and air games all day on Thursday and Friday. You could do games at 1, 4, 7 and 10 Eastern. Not only do you allow maximum eyeballs for each game, you are no longer cannibalizing your own product.
Look at it this way, when someone first gets hooked on drugs, they want all the drugs all the time. When they go to get help, they are weaned off the drug. Why are you trying to wean us off our drugs, NCAA! We want the
drugs Tournament, and we want it all.
Stop Forcing NBA Guys to talk College Basketball
"I want more Charles Barkley college basketball analysis," said no one ever. There are dozens of smart college basketball talking heads across the country, yet you stick us with guys who can barely keep up with the NBA and we're supposed to listen to them talk about teams they have not watched at all during the year.
No one's going to ask Bill Raftery to give his insight on the Super Bowl, so why are we doing this!
Get Gus Johnson Back
The NCAA Tournament without Gus Johnson is like Batman with Ben Afleck. It's Batman, but it's not Batman. The NCAA Tournament is still the Tourney, but it's not THE Tourney. If Alex Rodriguez can work for both Fox and ESPN, Gus Johnson can call games on Fox Sports and the NCAA Tournament.
Why hasn't this happened already?
The greatest play-by-play guy in the history of the NCAA Tournament is not calling games and I want to throw up.