I Hate Conference Tournaments, Part MMMMMMMMI

>> Thursday


Reruns, reruns.


But this one takes the cake.

Of all the egregiously unnecessary, horribly terrible consequences of conference tournaments, I don't think anything has ever topped nor could top the travesty I'm watching right now, as UConn and Syracuse play a fifth overtime, with the winner facing the prospect of playing two more games in the next two days.

"Oh, the drama of March Madness!"

No. It's not like that. It's more like me sitting here fuming, cringing with every unnecessary stride strode by 60+ minute man Johnny Flynn as his team trudges on, the NCAA and the Big East Conference pulling them by the ear, nagging, "You must continue to play and try your hardest to win this meaningless exhibition a week in advance of the most important games of your life, even if it means strained joints and renal failure."

When will everyone start calling bullshit on this bullshit? I don't know who's all with me, but I, for one, refuse to stand for this ponzi scheme. Yet... it's midnight, and I'm still watching, which makes me the sucker, and that's my whole point.

5 comments:

Bones 10:17 AM  

Yeah, conference tournaments really suck for teams in small conferences. Syracuse and UConn are going to the tournament regardless.

Davidson, meanwhile, went 18-2 in conference play, and might not even make the tournament thanks to UT-Chattanooga winning the SoCon Tourney.

Since I'm here, can we also get rid of the play-in game? If you win your conference tourney (which the NCAA thinks is more important than the regular season) why are you then forced to play your way into a bloodbath with a #1 seed? Get rid of an at-large bid. Minnesota doesn't need to be in the tourney to facilitate a moronic game that belittles small schools.

Vinnie 12:38 PM  

We got into this a little bit last year, and basically my opinion is that the NCAA should:

A) eliminate conference tournaments, giving the automatic conference bids to regular season champs. This would give us a more evenly distributed pool of teams and eliminate the need for play-in games to weed out the fluky teams.

Or...

B) Feed the money monster even more by making all four 16 seeds play-in winners. That would weed out three more fluky / clearly inferior teams with (effectively) no shot to win a game, let alone six games, and would in most cases bring three more interest-(profit-)generating invitees into the tournament. Scoff at Minnesota if you must, but the historoy of the 64-team format certainly includes teams of similar resume and ilk making Final Four runs.

I would love to see this choice forced upon the peon conferences (which the NCAA can do, being a cartel and all). I wonder which direction they'd go. On the one hand, option A would force them to abolish (what I assume is) one of their huge revenue generators while option B would diminish their potential exposure on the big stage by bouncing their representative before they have the chance to play a UConn or North Carolina. (Then again, how much does it help your conference reputation to have the fifth-place team win the conference tourney on a fluke for the privalege of losing by 46 to UConn?)

Patrick 3:50 PM  

I understand your argument, but they are 18-22 year old kids who should be able to handle playing 40 minutes a night. I really don't believe any of that hogwash about these guys battling fatigue, tired legs, etc. It really isn't that grueling, especially considering that you rarely hear the players themselves complaining about having to play in these conference tourneys.

Vinnie 4:48 PM  

Fatigue may not have the same effect as it would on a team of 38 year-olds, but that doesn't mean it's a complete non-factor. Also, that was 6 OTs worth of playing time that could've easily led to a needless stress fracture or sprain, especially once the play turned to slop in the last couple OTs.

Paul 7:00 PM  

Two points:

1. Last night was truly pointless. There would still be enough drama in the first weeks of March if every conference just expanded its regular schedule. Conference tourneys or not, there are still LOTS of teams battling to get off the bubble or secure a high seed.

Also, a longer regular season would allow for more even schedules for every team in every league. There would be more even 1-and-1 home-and-away schedules, and teams like ND wouldn't get royally screwed by a totally imbalanced regular season schedule.

2. I would abolish the play-in game if the regular season schedules were simply expanded. Thus, the Davidsons of the world would be 20+ game winners in conference and would be the unequivocal automatic bid. Every year there are fluke low-majors that really do not belong to be in the field of 64.

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