COMMENTARY: And Then There Were Four
Charles E. Sutton | 4/3/2014, 5:30 p.m.
We're here folks. Welcome to the Final Four. On March 18, there were 68 schools vying for college basketball's ultimate prize. Now, only four remain. Thus far, all four teams have gone unbeaten in the tournament as they've hopped around the country earning significant frequent flyer miles. Though each team has traveled a different road, what they all have in common is that their paths have led them to Arlington, Texas.
If you're a college hoops fan, it would be an understatement to say the last two weeks have been pure basketball excitement. You would be closer to the truth if you described it as euphoric. The greatest show on the sports landscape is about to enter its pinnacle stage. If you've enjoyed the last two weeks of the NCAA Men's Basketball Tournament, with its buzzer beaters, last-minute heroics and roller coaster of emotions, you're going to love the final three games.
Every significant element of college basketball will be present. Great coaches, players and fans will all take center stage. If that weren't enough, the games will be played at the state-of-the-art AT&T Stadium in Arlington, Texas. You remember AT&T Stadium. It's the house that Jerry Jones built, the one with the television monitor about the size of Anacostia.
March Madness is now in its third and final week, and four teams have survived the gauntlet of fierce competition, hostile crowds and the immense pressure of high stakes college basketball. Florida, Wisconsin, Kentucky and Connecticut have all won four consecutive tourney games and earned the right to play on in pursuit of the national title. Each team has its own character and personality. However, they all share the same goal: win March Madness.
Interestingly enough, this year's Final Four will be played In April. Some would argue that this year's tourney has been so good that it's only fitting that the games spill over into the next month. Yes, Major League Baseball will be in full swing in April, the month also features the Masters Golf Tournament, not to mention that NBA and NHL teams will be gearing up for the playoffs. But all of these events pale in comparison to the Final Four. In my estimation, March Madness is the premier event on the annual sports calendar.
This year's tourney created such a buzz that billionaire Warren Buffet offered a billion dollars to any person that could successfully complete a tournament bracket, and predict the winner of every game. By the end of Day 2 of the tourney, the competition was over. Every bracket was busted. Not a single person succeeded. This provides further confirmation that the NCAA Tournament is totally unpredictable. That along with highly-skilled players and nail-biting finishes is why the tourney has been named March Madness. If you're interested in convincing me that Tiger Woods in the Masters or Le Bron James in the NBA playoffs somehow trumps the NCAA Tournament, good luck with that. I've heard every conceivable argument, and at the end of the day, March Madness is superior.