Thursday, March 13, 2008
Behind The Scoreboard
In case a lot of you don’t really get into March Madness, there is a little known fact about the very brief season which pre-dates the big show which the NCAA puts on each year.
This season is not very long and actually it lasts about a week, or less. We are talking about the “on the bubble, nail-biting season.”
Most fans seem to think that the teams with the super or stellar records are automatically ordained suitors for the “Big Dance.” Not so. There is the worst kind of pecking order.
And each and every year, there is the customary debate – should a team with a losing record have its card punched? At one point, yours truly was adamantly opposed to any team having less than a remarkable record be allowed on this dance floor. Here lately, I am becoming ambivalent on the subject. There are teams out there which start their respective seasons setting the woods on fire and then sort of burn out as the competition stiffens. And then they try and bounce back late in the season, sometimes falling below five hundred.
As we intimated early on, it is not a “done deal.” First consideration goes to the winners of their respective conference tournament championships (as recognized by the NCAA). Merely winning the conference won’t necessarily do it.
So far the only teams which are automatically in are Austin Peay(OVC), Belmont (Atlantic Sun Conference), Cornell(Ivy League) and the Big South’s Winthrop. Of those mentioned, Winthrop and Belmont are returnees from last season.
The final selections won’t be made until Sunday. A lot of nails could be ruined before then.
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