“Last four in”, “on the bubble” and “Selection Sunday” are all terms unfamiliar to most unless you follow the high paced hype of NCAA College Basketball from the USA which culminates with the madness of what is March.
A straight knock out competition teams are initially divided into four brackets of sixteen seeded teams, spread nationally across four venues in the first weekend. Win game one you play two days later with the aim of playing again the following weekend. Its straight up elimination played over four March or early April weekends. Like any knock out tournament upsets happen aplenty with higher seeds commonly being knocked over by less likely opponents. This is known as a “bracket buster”.
This year the season, and tournament, has added some extra interest in this part of the world. New Zealander Steve Adams (half brother of Valerie Adams), plays for the University of Pittsburgh, who look as though they will be one of the top 64 college teams who make the end of season tournament. Adams was predicted at the start of the season to be a first round draft pick in the NBA however his stock has since dropped and general consensus is he will play another season at the collegiate level.
Pitt (as they are known as) play in the Big East College competition which culminates next week with a competition to find the Big East champions, played in New York in Madison Square Garden. The better they perform the higher the seed in the “Big Dance”.
The passion of College players is far more apparent at this level than the professionalism of the next level up, the NBA, where egos and dollars takes away the enthusiasm of representing and winning for the students at your school.
The 64 teams that will make up the NCAA Tournament are named on Sunday March 17th in the USA (funnily enough St Patricks Day so the luck of the Irish for some). It’s reality TV at its best with cameras there with a number of teams, gathered around televisions waiting to see where, who and if they play.
The concept of this tournament holds interest worldwide providing weekends of drama and hype. New stars are born and for many this is the showcase to show their talents for a move onto bigger things – most notably a lucrative NBA contract. New Zealander Steve Adams will be worth watching to see how he stacks up in an American dominated sport.