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March Madness "Play-In" Game Is Just Wrong

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  • March Madness "Play-In" Game Is Just Wrong

    This one "play-in" game on Tuesday for the NCAA Basketball tournament is just wrong on so many levels, it is hard to know where to begin.

    Wasn't 64 teams enough? Why did they add an extra game? And why did they choose the champions of two crap conferences to play this game instead of two highly expendable "at large" teams who didn't win jack **** to make it to the Big Dance?

    As it is now, the "winner" of the play-in game has the honor of getting ass-raped later in the week by a #1 seed full of All-Americans. What sort of reward is that? No #16 seed has ever beaten a #1 seed so that should tell you there is little point in trying, much less having an elimination game to see who will get their teeth kicked in later. It's like watching a couple of cripples stage a death match with the survivor taking on Kimbo Slice two nights later. And ESPN is there to show the bloodletting in prime time to a national audience (or at least those unfortunates not hooked on "LOST").

    The game just makes no sense all the way around and only is one more slap in the face at small schools while .500 teams from the ACC or the Big East get treated with more respect.

    So, let's scrap the game altogether. Or, better yet, let's replace it with something better: Every amateur bracketologist does their "last four in, last four out" chart. So, how about we take a designated seed in each region and make the "L4I,L4O" play each other for the right to that seed? Instead of some boring match between two podunk schools nobody cares about, give ESPN and their myriad spin-offs a chance to show, say, Minnesota vs. Virginia Tech as a play-in game for the 11th seed? And three other similar contests on the same night. The teams playing in this pre-lim would all be at-large teams on the bubble so there should be little room for bitching. Their title dreams, shoddy as they are, would still be alive and the winners would square off against a 4, 5 or 6 seed they might have a realistic chance of beating if they win.

    Maybe then, more people will Tivo "LOST" and watch it after a night of play-in games. But, then, since ESPN and ABC are both owned by Disney, maybe that explains why you don't get a better play-in game.