A column written during the 2007 Selection Show
|The So-Called Prominence of the Mid-Majors
Let’s play a game of Who Am I? 10 National Championships and 8 wins in last year’s tournament. Would you have guessed I’m the ACC, one of the top conferences in the nation. Compare this to the 0 National Championships and the 3 wins in last year’s tournament. Now I’m the Missouri Valley Conference, an overrated, underachieving Mid-Major Conference. But alas, Selection Sunday will be spent, once again with sportswriters and broadcasters agonizing over whether Missouri State or Drake or Bradley(just examples, no real chance of Drake or Bradley going to the tournament) should get the call, while the ACC should, and I emphasis the word should get an outstanding eight teams, Georgia Tech and Florida State included, into the tournament. However, I still don’t give that much credit to the selection committee, so when the Drexel Dragons, who established some key non-conference wins but finished behind Virginia Commonwealth AND George Mason in their own conference, or a team like Xavier or UMass have there tickets punched I will not be the least surprised.
Of course, unless you are a diehard college basketball fan, you don’t stop doing your housework or paying your bills to tune in for Missouri State-Old Dominion, but when Duke- North Carolina or even Syracuse-Villanova both prime, power team match ups, the potato chips come out and you hit the couch, not to move for hours. And isn’t that the point of the NCAA Tournament to find the outright best team. Or has it turned into another publicity stunt in the world of sports, or even a public interest story, a way for the media to get viewers or make money based on America embracing an underdog; see George Mason. All I ask is that you make the NCAA’s what they are supposed to be, a way to find the absolute champion of the best teams in the NCAA, not give face time to a heavy underdog who gets very, very lucky