Mar 272003
Authors: Jon Ackerman

Working minimum wage as a burnt potato chip picker wouldn’t be a bad job. Neither would gate cleaning at a sewer treatment plant.

Or I could have rear-end wiping duty at a nursing home. Just as long as I don’t have to be a part of the NCAA Tournament Selection Committee. I’d rather specialize in porta-potty sanitation.

Think about it: as part of the committee, you spend weeks analyzing, dissecting and probing all 327 Division I college basketball teams to come up with 65 to vie for the national championship. After all the mid-major conference tournaments are done, thus securing almost half of the bids automatically, you make up a bracket that will become the single most important piece of paper for thousands of nuts for the next three weeks.

But in making that bracket, which you think was done quite well and fair, you piss off a good handful of teams, another thousand fans, and set in the laps of critics their material for the rest of March.

Sure, you make a team’s entire season by lining it up against Duke, but that’s not the point here. Something is wrong in your head.

How could you possibly imagine putting the Wildcats of Kentucky and Arizona, the top two teams all year, on the same side of the bracket? If they both advance to the Final Four, they’d play each other in the SEMIS rather than the national championship game.

I guess nobody ever seemed to notice that the other two No. 1 seeds you picked – Texas and Oklahoma – are from the same conference and you avoided a possible all-Big 12 championship game by placing them on one side of the bracket.

But again, not the point. You are inhumane.

You also placed a bevy of loaded teams in the West regional. The group of four in the Sweet 16 – Arizona, Notre Dame, Kansas and Duke -is better than most year’s Final Fours, but because of your slight, only one will actually make it to the national semifinals.

I mean, come on, are you serious? You gave BYU a slight possibility to play on a Sunday, going against everything the Mormon Church stands for? Never mind that the Cougars would have had to beat No. 22 Connecticut and No. 18 Stanford to advance to the Sweet 16, where they would then have had to win another game – against No. 5 Texas – before ever playing on a Sunday. But who would ever let chance arise?

Yeah, I know BYU was eliminated in the first round, but do you know how many people you had worried sick because that ever-important piece of paper might have been ruined if BYU switched brackets in the middle of the tourney to avoid a Sunday game?

You really need to get that chemical imbalance checked out.

So now, because of your poor judgment, the issue of reseeding teams once they reach the Final Four is actually picking up steam. How are bracket-pickers gonna choose their championship game now? They won’t know what system the NCAA will use to reseed the teams.

And some coaches, according to the loony Woody Paige of the Denver Post, are even in favor of allowing ALL 327 Division I teams to play in the tournament, thus eliminating your job. Sure, that would dilute the accomplishment of earning a NCAA bid, but at least you’d be out of a job.

What do you have to say for yourself?

“Well, every year some teams are left out and some teams get in that maybe shouldn’t. And every year there’s bitching about the seed given to some team because there’s some match up that everyone wants to see. But you know what? Every year there’s the best three-week sporting event in the nation. You’ve got Gonzaga taking heavily-favored Arizona to two OTs. You’ve got Butler making Rick Pitino think he doesn’t belong in college, either. And you’ve got Colorado State just plain in the tournament. Isn’t this thing amazing?”

Well, yeah. I guess you’re right. People just needed someone to point a finger at.

Because honestly, how much air time can you fill complaining about the cleanliness of the last porta-potty you stepped in?

Jon is a senior journalism major and the Collegian sports editor.

 Posted by at 6:00 pm

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