Jordan Bean | Sacked
Let the madness begin
Published: Monday, March 11, 2013
Updated: Monday, March 11, 2013 16:03
Here we are in the second week of March, which can only mean one thing: March Madness is upon us. It’s the season that sports fans look forward to all year. Casual and avid fans sit side by side watching to see if this is the year where the No. 16 seed will upset the No. 1. They fill out their brackets with care, with the exception of the one friend who always puts all four No. 1 seeds in the Final Four every year.
If you’re a fan of the underdog, David−beats−Goliath stories, then you are surely in for a treat this March.
If, like me, you enjoy watching the perennial powers battle it out for the coveted prize, then it will be a time of disappointment and tough losses.
Because we have finally arrived at the point where a No. 16 legitimately has a chance to beat the No. 1 seed.
How did we get to this point where the playing field has evened out so much and the gap between teams has become increasingly small? The answer is simple: It is the mind−numbingly terrible rules set forth by the NCAA.
The NCAA has ruined the game of college basketball with the implementation of the one−and−done rule that allows players to compete for a single season before departing to the NBA draft, if they so choose.
It’s laughable how bad that rule is. Players show up on campus in the fall as freshmen and can take very simple, straightforward classes to ensure that they are eligible for the season. Once that is out of the way, they are free to play out the season and subsequently leave after the completion of the tournament.
It is the rare exception that a group of freshmen will bond and excel as last year’s Kentucky team did. In the past, it had been the experienced and veteran (a term that is used loosely here to mean no player can have more than four years of experience) teams that found a way to deliver come clutch time.
There is no such thing as a dominant team in college basketball anymore. Any team with good enough players will see them declare early for the NBA and will have to rebuild the following year with freshmen, although there’s the chance they’ll leave after a year, too.
The effects of this rule are now coming out in full effect. Mid−major teams such as Butler have been making surges lately, with Gonzaga even making an appearance at No. 1 this year — although that hasn’t been a very hot spot to be in. Teams from the power conferences have been blending in with their counterparts unlike ever before.
The resurrection of the mid−majors and weakening of the powers is partly due to the team chemistry that comes when elite players are on the same floor for three to four years. They’re building a trust and bond that teams like Kentucky will never be able to have under the current system.
There is a simple change that could solve this issue: a return to the old system, with a slight spin. Let players who want to leave after high school go. They are doing a disservice to themselves, the institutions and the game of college basketball by staying only a year. It benefits no one. The players do not mature enough in the one year to become more prepared to play in the NBA.
Once a player makes the choice to enroll in school, as in college football, they must stay a minimum of three years. The best of the best would not waste a year in college, while the ones in school would help to form superior teams and a more enjoyable sport. NCAA, it’s time to eliminate the one−and−done — you’re sacked!