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

 

Eddie Izzard: UK Comedy Legend Returns

Hailed as one of the foremost stand up comedians of his generation. Star of stage and screen. Tireless supporter of charity. Runner. Political campaigner. Fashion Icon... February 2015, Eddie Izzard will bring his massive FORCE MAJEURE world tour to New Zealand with tickets going on sale at 10am on Tuesday 28th October. More>>

Festival Starts 28 Oct: Improv Fest Makes Up New Show

For any other festival, finding out less than two weeks from showtime that half the cast of a programmed show can’t make it to New Zealand would be a nightmare. Instead, the New Zealand Improv Festival Director Jennifer O’Sullivan saw an opportunity ... More>>

NZ Music Awards Finalists: Lorde, Sol3 Mio Top 2014 Tuis Charge

Lorde has taken the music world by storm during the past year and she co-leads the 2014 Tui charge with five finalist spots. Joining her is newcomer family opera trio, Sol3 Mio. They are followed closely by Ladi6 and David Dallas, both up for four awards each. More>>

From 'Luther' Creator: Major New Zealand Crime Series For BBC

Libertine Pictures and writer Neil Cross have teamed up with leading international TV producer Carnival Films to develop a major new crime series set in Rotorua. Libertine will develop the contemporary drama series with Carnival, producer of internationally-acclaimed British period drama Downton Abbey, for the BBC. More>>

ALSO:

Family Statement: Death Of Ewen Gilmour

“Ewen was a much loved and cherished member of our family, he was a larger than life character and by his very nature was kind, generous and always giving of his time to those who asked for his help." More>>

ALSO:

Auckland: St. Jerome's Laneway Festival - Line-Up Announced

Traversing seven cities and three countries, the festival has well and truly settled into its home in each state. From the grassy knolls and towering silos at home in Auckland, to the sparkling backdrop of the Maribyrnong... More>>

Scoop Review Of Books: No Longer An Island

Simon Nathan reviews 'Zealandia: Our Continent Revealed': The idea that New Zealand is part of a large submerged continent is not new... There was renewed interest in the extent of offshore New Zealand from the 1970s onwards with the start of offshore drilling for oil and gas, and this was given impetus by a UN agreement which allowed countries to claim an Extended Continental Shelf (ECS). More>>

Art: Simon Denny Recreates Kim Dotcom’s Personal Effects

Who owns what? How has the internet changed our relation to the world? These are two of the many questions Simon Denny raises in the latest exhibition at the Adam Art Gallery, opening on Saturday 4 October. More>>

ALSO:

Get More From Scoop

 
 

LATEST HEADLINES

 
 
 
 
Culture
Search Scoop  
 
 
Powered by Vodafone
NZ independent news