This March, Not Madness But Predictability

By Harry Kimball,  Newser Staff
Posted Mar 23, 2009 3:26 PM CDT
Marquette guard Wesley Matthews walks off the court after Missouri defeated Marquette 83-79.   (AP Photo)
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(Newser) – After the “four-day basketball binge that each year makes up one of the best stretches in American sports,” the results are a little, well, boring, Pete Thamel writes in the New York Times. “The tournament has been as predictable as a 401(k)’s decline or Jim Nantz’s trying too hard to romanticize a story line.” Sure, the Round of 16 will be full of “heavyweight bouts,” but no “passion and novelty.”

“Not one of the 16 teams remaining does not resonate as a recognizable brand name in college basketball,” Thamel writes of the likes of Duke, Connecticut, and Kansas. “None could be considered a remote surprise to have advanced.” It’s “a river of blue blood,” as all of the final 16 have been to the tournament before, “high on predictability and low on charm.”