March Madness Disaster – Get your act together NCAA

March 25, 2009

The title to this post might have led you to believe that I am about to air my grievances with the NCAA Tournament selection committee.  Of course, there are certainly plenty of arguments to be made about the dubious selections and omissions from this year’s field of 65 (should teams like Minnesota, Wisconsin or Boston College have made the tournament at the expense of Santa Clara, Penn St. and Florida?).  However, this post has nothing to do with the team selection process.  No, this is all about the pairing of tournament game sites with high seeds in the women’s field of 65.  Any of you that watched Sportscenter last night may have heard that the completion of the second round of the women’s tournament saw the elimination of the first #1 seed: The Duke Blue Devils.  What dumbfounded me about this upset was that it took place on the home court of the 9th seed that undertook the upset, The Michigan State Spartans.  Perhaps I should rephrase that, just in case it didn’t sink in: a #1 seed in the big dance was forced to play a TRUE ROAD GAME in just the second round of the tournament.  This is fucking outrageous.  Two of the other three top seeds (UCONN and Maryland) had the good fortune of playing their first two games on their home courts, while the third top seed, Oklahoma, played in not-so-distant Iowa City.  So what in the world was the tournament thinking making the Devils travel over 500 miles to play their first two games on the home floor of that region’s #9 seed?!  Now I’m not exactly the champion of the gender equality movement, but I think it’s pretty safe to say that this ridiculous occurrence would never have happened in the men’s tournament (for comparison, i researched the farthest distance traveled by a #1 seed in the men’s bracket – 224 miles).  I suppose the top seeds are expected to get it done against the lower seeds, but, seemingly, winning the games during the regular season to gain one of the tops seeds should give that team the right to play close to home for at least the first couple of rounds.  This is a travesty, a sham, and it makes a mockery of the NCAA tournament.  Yes, a traveshamockery if you will.  I’ve  got nothing more to say.

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