Is it because I’m getting old? It has to be because I’m getting old.
I’m more unfolding out of bed in the morning rather than jumping out of it. That loaded baked potato loads up around my midsection a lot easier and it’s a lot harder to get off. I really knew Father Time had his hand on my arthritic shoulder the morning I went to read my newspaper and had to lift up my glasses to see the words clearly.
(I’m wearing what they call “progressive lenses” now. Pretty much means I’m progressing toward a gold-plated AARP card.)
So that’s to what I attributed my reaction when I read Wednesday that ACC basketball coaches unanimously endorsed a plan that would have put every Division I team into the 2021 NCAA tournament.
All 357 of them.
Three-hundred. And fifty-seven.
Wait … wait … yep, there’s the indigestion again.
Some national basketball pundits jumped on board quickly. They thought this would be a big shot in the arm for this coming college basketball season when last season ended before the NCAA tournament could even tip off, wiped away by the COVID-19 pandemic.
Why stop at March Madness, they said, when you can have Mid-June Madness? The ACC coaches threw their full-throated support behind it.
“This is not a regular season,” Duke coach Mike Krzyzewski said in a statement. “It is clearly an irregular season that will require something different. Our sport needs to be agile and creative.”
Here’s the deal: Nothing becomes more agile by adding a ton of unnecessary weight to it.
Adding every team to the bracket would make the NCAA tournament different, but would it necessarily make the tournament better? Will more games mean more interest? I mean, the NCAA tournament already is one of the most popular events in a college sports calendar. What would adding every team in the Big Sky do to make it better?
A 357-team, all-in basketball tournament is a gimmick. The 2020 calendar has been gimmicky enough — competition bubbles, murder hornets and the like. We don’t need to add any more gimmicks to the slate, especially gimmicks simply for gimmicks’ sake.
Could it allow for some obscure Summit League team to tear through the early parts of the bracket? Sure. Cinderellas are fun. They always are. But blue-bloods drive the bus. Loyola Chicago and George Mason are cool. People still pay more attention to Kentucky and Kansas and Duke.
Look, back when I was you kids’ age, we had 64 teams on one channel and y’know what? We were thankful for what we had.
Anyway, Dan Gavitt, the NCAA’s senior vice president of basketball, soothed most of my heartburn Thursday when he essentially said “no thanks” to the ACC’s everyone-in-the-pool concept. Mr. Gavitt, I raise my glass of Metamucil to you.
Does it make me a cranky old fogey? Pretty much, yeah. But I’m of the opinion that, especially in these stress-filled and frustrating days, if we’re going to make any changes to anything, they need to be changes for the better, not just for the sake of change.