So my position that the first-ever all-1-seed Final Four ruins the Final Four has provoked a bunch of very good comments, found in the post below.
(UPDATE: Commenters continue to make very strong points on this.)
We can agree to disagree -- and many of you make good points -- but I think it is one of the better arguments we will see this year:
Is an uber-predictable Final Four made up of all the teams that were expected to make it -- for the first time in Tournament history -- a good thing... or a bad thing?
I argue in the lead of today's Sporting News column that I think it is a bad thing.
Not that any of the teams themselves are inherently bad, but simply that if nothing else, the NCAA Tournament's appeal is in its unpredictability -- and this outcome is entirely predictable.
(UPDATE: As some Commenters have pointed out, the more "predictable" outcome would have been all four 1-seeds NOT making the Final Four. Great point.)
Longtime readers know that I appreciate and honor the concept of "novelty" (or, its sibling, "superlative") more than any other quality in sports. It is the lens I view sports through.
So please know that the novelty of this being the first time all four No. 1 seeds have reached the Final Four appeals to my deep appreciation of novelty.
Something just strikes me wrong about it.
I don't feel this way about the NFL or MLB or the NBA or college football or even the women's NCAA Tournament (for which I argue in the column that an all 1-vs-2 Elite Eight is a VERY good thing for women's hoops).
The NCAA Tournament is my favorite sports event of the year. The NCAA Tournament, for me, is defined much in part for rejection of any sense of "inevitable" success for the favorites.
So please allow me at least a 24-hour period to have an allergic reaction to the shattering of that definition. It had to happen at some point, I guess. But I don't think it's a good thing.
More from today's Sporting News column: MLB Opening Night was a huge success for MLB and the Nats and Nationals Park and Ryan Zimmerman... MLB Opening Day is filled with ace-heavy storylines... the NBA West is must-track on a daily basis... Isiah Thomas to Indiana University?... and more... after the jump!
Unrelated: I participated in my first-ever fantasy baseball "auction" draft on Friday afternoon, and I think it will be hard for me to go back to straight snake-drafts. It was a ton of fun -- even if my lack of experience led me to some atrocious choices early, middle and late. (I did, however, spend more than Average Auction Value for Ryan Zimmerman... for one morning, at least, I feel like I did something right.)