Tuesday, February 14, 2012

Two Yearly Narratives That Should GoThe Way Of LOL

These two narratives are ones that I really wish would die. Title confusing given that people still use LOL? Yeah, LOL isn't dead, but people who use it are dead to me.

Useless Narrative #1: Will College Basketball Ever be the Cool Kid?


If you go to the 6:52 mark you'll hear Pat Forde and Matt Norlander hand wringing over the failure of College Basketball to grab more of the national spotlight given the NBA delay this year. If it didn't happen this year, when will it happen? And there are no good story lines. There are no heroes and no villains. Worst of all, there's no Jimmer! So forth and so on.

The vast majority of the American public will never, ever pay much attention to College Basketball before March. Accept it and move on. Football isn't over till January. What can you do? A lack of national buzz didn't change a brilliant month of December for Indiana, in which they knocked off the number 1 and 2 teams in the nation and brought the luster back to Hosier nation. It didn't stop the game winning 3 by Michael Snaer at Cameron Indoor Stadium to upset Duke. It didn't stop Austin Rivers from paying it forward with a game winning 3 of his own against North Carolina a few weeks later. It didn't stop a coaching hire that everyone questioned (loudly), Frank Haith, from taking his team on a 23-2 run and put them at the 3 spot in the national rankings.

The season is good. The games have been good. This is not a tree falls in the forest conundrum. Quality is not determined by popularity. And let's be honest, most people didn't even know Jimmer's name till March anyway. Accept it. Move on.

Useless Narrative Number 2: Which is/are the Best Team/Teams in the Nation

Kentucky is clearly ahead of everyone else? Right? And Syracuse and Ohio State, depending on who you ask, at what time, depending on the lunar cycle, which direction the gales are brewing from and which flavor of soft serve ice cream they just had, one of those two is right behind them.

I could not be more sick of this need to define a team (or small handful of teams) that are clearly above all the rest. North Carolina in 2009 was heads and shoulders above everyone else. Clearly. They were an NBA lite team. That is an exception to the rule, not the rule. In modern college basketball there are very few years in which you are ever going to have 1 team (or a small handful of teams) that are clearly better than all the rest. I thought this year, with the extreme shuffle going on at the 1 spot in the rankings, with some of the wacky early season results, that we might have finally outgrown this. I was wrong.

Remember in 2010 when Kansas was clearly the elite team in the country? How'd that work out for them? Northern Iowa? You don't say. Just out of curiosity, in 2011 did any national media member anoint UConn as the head and shoulders best team? No? Well, they didn't do much besides win a national title, right?

We have a tournament. This isn't the fraudulent post season of the college gridiron. There is no need to try and crown a national champion 2 months before it's all said and done. Keep on trying to construct artificial separation. The results will keep tearing it down.

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