Art & Entertainment | Book Reviews | Education | Entertainment Video | Health | Lifestyle | Sport | Sport Video | Search

 


Neikrie’s Notes: Embrace the Madness

Neikrie’s Notes: Embrace the Madness

By Jamie Neikrie

There is no sporting event like the NCAA Division 1 Men’s Basketball Tournament.

Sounds pretty boring with a name like that. But what makes The Big Dance the greatest sporting event in the world is the madness.

For all intents and purposes, college sports don’t really exist in New Zealand. Small, semi-competitive teams of willing players convene at one of the dozen or so universities, and occasionally they play each other with a decent level of competitiveness.

Not many people watch. There is no money at stake. No scholarships. No boosters. No rivalries. And most of all, no tournament.

College sports in the United States are a different animal. It features the best fans, the best sporting venues, the most historic rivalries, and the fiercest competition.

When you combine the revenue and publicity of every major college team across NCAA Division 1, college football and basketball dwarf every other North American sporting league, professional or not.

On an individual game basis, college football is probably bigger. But college football doesn’t have March Madness. It simply can’t compete.

There are 32 divisions for Men’s Basketball teams, comprising 347 teams. Every March, each division hosts its own conference, with the best teams from the conference making the tournament.

In one week you have the Big East Tournament, the Big 12 Tournament, the Atlantic Coast Conference Tournament, and 29 others, hundreds of games featuring the best teams in the country, playing out over a few days. On the line? A chance to prove what kind of a team you are. To prove that you are among the best. To prove that you can put on your dancing shoes.

Then comes Selection Sunday, when teams gather at their coach’s house, watching as the ten-member selection committee decides which 68 teams will make the tournament (there’s also the NIT Tournament for the next 68 best teams, in case you can’t get enough basketball), where they will be ranked on a scale of 1-16, who and where they will have to play, and the path to victory that their résumé merits. It is a painstaking, controversial process that inevitably creates as many losers as it does winners. But the chaos only makes the tournament that much better.

Finally, The Big Dance begins. 65 games will be played two weeks, with a champion being crowned on April 7 this year. Nate Silver and ESPN go to work calculating the statistical outcome of every game, Barack Obama fills out his own bracket, and Warren Buffett offers $1 billion to anyone who can get every game right.

Barring an absolute miracle, no one will, because no one knows what will happen. That’s the beauty. Every year there’s a Cinderella team that overcomes statistics, eye tests, rankings, and every other measurement to defy expectations. Every year there is a player who transcends the college basketball, taking his team to new heights. And every year, there is Madness. Sweet, sweet Madness.

ENDS

© Scoop Media

 
 
 
 
 
Culture Headlines | Health Headlines | Education Headlines

 

Game Review: Midsomer Murders Meets First Year Philosophy

Developed by The Chinese Room, Everybody's Gone to the Rapture sees the player exploring what appears to be a recently abandoned idyllic English village trying to figure out where everybody's gone. Spoiler: they've gone to the rapture. (On a serious note, this review contains plot spoilers.) More>>

Scoop Review Of Books: Clear Science

It was really after his move to Wellington, to Victoria University, that it became apparent that Sir Paul Cllaghan was much more than an eminent physicist... More>>

ALSO:

Francis Cook: Weekend SportzMania! All Blacks! Netball!

Sports were on all weekend. I normally don’t write about sports but with Richie McCaw tipped to be the next Prime Minister, and Colin Craig arguing sports are almost as important as politics, I thought “what better time to start!” More>>

ALSO:

Beervana: Aussie Pav Beer Declared Taste Of NZ

In a surprising upset, an Australian beer modelled on the pavlova, created by Brisbane brewery Newstead Brewing, the 250 Beers blog and Scratch Bar, has been announced the winner at the Beervana craft beer festival ‘Flag Brew’ competition, which challenged media and brewing teams to capture the distinctive taste of New Zealand. More>>

ALSO:

Transport: Air NZ Teams Up With All Blacks For Men In Black Video

Inspired by the Columbia Pictures global film franchise Men in Black, Air New Zealand’s latest safety instalment features All Blacks’ Captain Richie McCaw and Dan Carter as Men in Black agents. More>>

ALSO:

World Champions: BRADAS Of Identity Company Take On The World And Win Gold

This is only the second time since NZ has qualified for the HHI world finals that NZ has taken home a GOLD medal in this division. REQUEST Dance Crew being the only other NZ crew to achieve this. New Zealands only other medal this year was Silver for the Royal Family in a very close final in the Megacrew division. More>>

Scoop Review Of Books: Contrary To Popular Belief - Lloyd Geering

Many older Dunediners like myself, and indeed older Presbyterians and others throughout the country, will remember the controversy aroused by the articles and speeches of Professor Geering, Principal of Knox College Theological Hall in the late 1960s... More>>

Get More From Scoop

 
 

LATEST HEADLINES

 
 
 
 
Culture
Search Scoop  
 
 
Powered by Vodafone
NZ independent news