NCAA Tourney as Boring as Ever

Popularity has sucked all the charm out of the tournament

By Nick McMaster,  Newser Staff

Posted Apr 4, 2009 8:00 AM CDT

(Newser) – In the '60s and '70s, the NCAA tournament was boring because UCLA seemingly always won. These days, "instead of UCLA winning it every year, there are now between five and nine UCLAs that can win it every year," Charles Pierce writes for Slate. "It's just as sterile and dynastic as it used to be." It’s oligarchy rather than monarchy, but it feels just as stale.

Take this year’s Final Four: Villanova, North Carolina, Michigan State, and UConn have appeared in the Final Four a total of 12 times since 2000. The tournament has become such a commodity, Pierce laments, that its "grandiosity brings with it a demand for consistency, for an easily defined cast of characters, a rack of brand names consonant with the corporate class that's come to run the thing."

In this Nov. 17, 2008 file photo, Villanova coach Jay Wright reacts to an official's call as his team plays Fordham in the first half of an NCAA college basketball game in Villanova, Pa.   (AP Photo/H. Rumph Jr., File)
Pittsburgh guard Brad Wanamaker (22) has a shot blocked by Villanova guard Corey Fisher (10) in the second half during a men's NCAA tournament regional championship game in Boston, March 28, 2009.   (AP Photo/Stephan Savoia)
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Its popularity has changed the tournament into something more than it was and less than it should be.
- Slate

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