March Madness time is here. A time to wrap up a sports season, and welcome in warmer weather (hopefully). I’ll take a look back here at a few topics from this past season:
-Biggest Crowd would go to the DC vs. Monticello Girls Basketball Section Championship game. They were waiting for a long time and completely filled a huge gym in Buffalo. Everyone was anticipating a good game in this rematch. A good second place goes to NYA vs. Mayer Lutheran Boys Basketball playoff game. I heard they were waiting almost an hour to get into that border battle.
-Best Tournament still has to be Hockey. There are few tournaments in the country that can compete with the level of play, the tradition, the atmosphere…everything. The Double A Tournament almost seems like your seeing the top High School teams in the nation. The tournament sells out in 2A, and Class A is getting bigger and bigger. I was a basketball guy in high school, but I’m fast becoming a hockey guy now.
-There was an idea floated at the State Boys Hockey Tournament to try and get the 8 best teams into the tournament, I’ll call this the West Metro rule. You see, the West Metro hockey teams are by far the best in 2A and only a handful can qualify for state being in the same sections. Some people wanted more of those teams in the tournament over teams that didn’t have as good of regular seasons. One person even said No team with a sub-.500 record should be allowed into the post season tournaments.
I have mixed feelings on a rule like this. On one hand I like this idea, although to be fair I think you’d have to make this a rule for all team sports. It would make the regular season mean something again, which right now no one cares about that portion. It would get better teams in, quality of play would increase.
But, on the other hand…what makes march madness is the upsets. Tell me the last time the NCAA Mens Basketball Tournament had the #1-#4 ranked teams still alive in the Final 4? I can’t remember it ever happening…I’m sure it has, but when? What makes it fun is seeing David knock of Goliath. We like seeing the Butlers, the NC State’s, the Valparasio’s, beat the top seeds. Everyone has a shot…until your beaten and eliminated you’ve got a shot. That’s what makes it fun.
-The loudest crowds have to go to Wrestling. I’m a basketball guy, like I said before so I haven’t personally heard the crowds…but listening to Pat and Ron and Kip and Gary…the crowds in the background of their matches are always hyped up to the max. Almost rivals Volleyball. Sorry, no one’s beating a bunch of screaming girls…No one.
-If there is one competitor this winter season to keep watching after the season, it’s Cole Bateman from Hutchinson Boys Swimming. He’s going on to Division 1 Swimming, and is hoping to go further into Nationals. As good as he is…we might hear his name again. A Summer trip to Rio in a few years would be a nice lofty goal.
-I miss bands. Haven’t heard too many pep bands at games this year. I know fans and players enjoy piped in music more, but the atmosphere with a band is better. Just as long as I’m not setting up my broadcast table 3 feet from the percussion section.
-Sportsmanship has been up and down this season from what I’ve seen. I’ve seen games and fans that exemplify what it means to be good fans and sports…but I’ve also seen games and fans that I wouldn’t let me daughters sit next to ever. It’s just kids playing a game people. It’s wonderful to cheer them on and encourage them, but why get so torked off if they don’t win? Didn’t they give it their best shot? Shouldn’t that be enough? Not everyone in life gets a trophy…it’s how you pick yourself up and move on that makes part of the measure of a man.
-A note to basketball programs…teach kids how to shoot the ball! The Shooting I have seen at a lot of games has left a lot to be desired. Too many times I’ve seen either poor shots taken, or no shot taken. Summertime should be a time to shoot about 30,000 shots. And no I’m not kidding.
-I like what I’ve seen in getting kids involved with varsity teams. Whether it’s LDC Hockey having youth kids skate with the team in warm ups or player introductions, to basketball teams playing at halftime…I’ve seen more involvement this year than in past years. Nice job! The more kids that are interested in a sport the better, it makes for better overall program numbers, and makes for an overall better program in the long term.