The 2012 NCAA Men's Basketball Tournament seems to always come and go faster than it takes for you to fill out your bracket. This years tournament provided us with upsets early on and what seemed to be chalk late with a few exceptions.Still wondering who the best conference is? Well let's break down the tournament performance of the major conferences.
Bids: 6 Record: 10-5* Winning %: 66.6%
Bids: 6 Record: 11-6 Winning %: 64.7%
Bids: 9 Record:13-9 Winning %: 59.1%
Bids: 2^ Record: 1-1 Winning %: 50%
Bids: 4 Record: 9-3* Winning %: 75%
Bids: 5 Record: 6-5 Winning %: 54.5%
* Indicates there is one game left to play since this is going to be out before Monday's Championship.
^ Although they did receive 2 Bids to the tournament I don't count Cal as being in considering they couldn't win their Play-In now so called "First Round" Game.
The numbers would suggest that the two best Conferences would be in the finals but, as always with statistics they can be twisted in anyway you want! I don't believe in this case that with only 4 bids and Kentucky doing most of the leg work here that the SEC should be considered on of the top conferences. Looking at conferences with 6 or more bids you would have to say that the Big 12 and Big 10 were among the two best conferences in this years tournament.
The best team in the tournament this year is without a doubt Kentucky! Monday's championship should challenge the young but talented squad but I stand by the statement that the only team that can beat Kentucky is...KENTUCKY! This is not a knock on Kansas at all, rather it is a statement to how good this team is. Kansas on the other hand was underrated going in to this tournament and has shown why they were the winners of 8 straight Big 12 championships. I do wonder how things would have went if Kendall Marshall had not been hurt for UNC but I have a hard time saying that we do not have the two best teams in the country playing for the championship.
While the tournament seems to always give us a "Cinderella" or two every year this years tournament outside of the early rounds was somewhat disappointing. Ohio and NC State were the only two that were really close but they couldn't even bust in to the Elite 8. I'm not even sure if I would count NC State as a so called "Cinderella" since they were from one of the "major" conferences (ACC). Louisville was the "Surprise" in the final 4 this year while I'm sure most everyone (in at least one of their brackets) had Kentucky, Kansas, or Ohio State in as well. Outside of Louisville you can't say you were surprised to see any of the other teams in New Orleans (even if you didn't pick them). It is interesting how the final 4 this year represented 4 different major conferences (Big 12, Big TEN, SEC, & Big East).
Which brings me to my next point. There is not a lot of difference in talent levels from conference to conference. That is why you can see two #15 seeds moving on out of the first round now a day. You can see Syracuse survive a scare in the first round against a #16 and in recent years that is why you see a double digit seed knocking on the doors of the Elite 8 (See Ohio). The problem here is that all of the good players want to make the jump to the NBA right away. While I agreed with NBA's decision to not allow players to come out of high school anymore and applauded the idea of seeing high schools best playing in college for a year I just don't think it is working. It puts the idea in the heads of these young athletes that they just need to survive one more year of school then they can make the jump to being millionaires. I think two years out of high school would be the way to go. It would allow more time for player development and I'm not referring to the basketball court...I'm talking academically and mentally. I could also prevent kids from making a mistake by entering the draft too early after one good year!
Overall, I wasn't disappointed with the tournament but I wasn't all that impressed either. Don't think for a second that I won't be filling out a bracket again next year! Also, a Big Thanks to all of you who participated in this years BTBSports Bracket Challenge and it looks as if Mr. Adam Clark will be our winner this year. Jodizjokerz had a good run but ran out of gas and my mom (Shirley's Selections) just missed being our big winner.
If you are interested in Fantasy Baseball go to Yahoo and search for our league "Behind the Bench Sports" and join it is sure to be a season full of fun and excitement and as always a prize!